Looking at pictures of puppies can improve task performance?

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Image courtesy of Microsoft Image Gallery

That’s what a recent study seems to suggest! Study participants who viewed “cute” images—specifically puppies and kittens—before  completing a certain task performed better on that task than those who viewed “not-as-cute” images of dogs and cats. This improvement was found for both a motor dexterity and a visual search task! Why does this happen? Researchers believe that perceiving cuteness instinctually causes people to be more tender in their movements as well as more perceptually careful, thus enhancing their performance or concentration on the task-at-hand!

So before you take a test or go for a drive, it might not hurt to view one of those kitten videos you just can’t get enough of…

What’s your favorite “cute” picture or video? Leave a comment with a link!