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  • Post published:06/05/2021
  • Post last modified:06/05/2021

Puppies and Productivity

Look at a Puppy… Work HARDER!

If you’re one of those people who sneak a peak at cute animal videos every now and then while slaving away for The Man, there’s some good news for you. (Ah. Look at the cute Frenchie baby, Gus!)

French Bulldog
French Bulldog Puppy

There’s a Japanese study that says looking at pictures of puppies (and kittens) can boost your productivity. Here’s the abstract:

Kawaii (a Japanese word meaning “cute”) things are popular because they produce positive feelings. However, their effect on behavior remains unclear. In this study, three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of viewing cute images on subsequent task performance. In the first experiment, university students performed a fine motor dexterity task before and after viewing images of baby or adult animals. Performance indexed by the number of successful trials increased after viewing cute images (puppies and kittens; M ± SE = 43.9±10.3% improvement) more than after viewing images that were less cute (dogs and cats; 11.9±5.5% improvement) In the second experiment, this finding was replicated by using a non-motor visual search task. Performance improved more after viewing cute images (15.7±2.2% improvement) than after viewing less cute images (1.4±2.1% improvement). Viewing images of pleasant foods was ineffective in improving performance (1.2±2.1%). In the third experiment, participants performed a global–local letter task after viewing images of baby animals, adult animals, and neutral objects. … Results show that participants performed tasks requiring focused attention more carefully after viewing cute images. This is interpreted as the result of a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing. [Emphasis mine.]

Yes. You read that correctly. Looking at pictures of puppies and kittens results in an M ± SE = 43.9±10.3% improvement in productivity!!!

Isn’t that amazing?

(No. I don’t understand it any more than you, but “M ± SE = 43.9±10.3” certainly looks impressive, doesn’t it?)

Anyhow, take a look at this cute picture of Ginger as a puppy and then get back to work!


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