Back Off, Boss: Cute Kitten Videos May Improve Work Performance

Health & Family

Got caught at work playing Kittenwar or cooing over a puppy cam? No problem: tell your manager you were only trying to improve your attention to detail. In a series of experiments, a new study shows that viewing cute images enhances performance on tasks that require careful focus and dexterity.

Researchers at Japan’s Hiroshima University found that after people looked at adorable kitten and puppy pictures — but not images of adult cats and dogs — they significantly increased their accuracy on an agility task, namely the children’s game Operation. The game involves using tweezers to extract plastic body parts from tiny compartments in the game-board patient, without hitting the edges and triggering a loud buzzer. (The finding confirms that of an earlier study.)

But the scientists wanted to know more: does cuteness increase care simply by slowing down behavior, much the way adults and even children stretch…

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