It's impossible to do anything online without running into a picture of an aww-inducing kitten, baby otter, or other painfully cute animal. Distracting as those pictures may seem, there's a reason to keep looking: Scientists recently proved that all those painfully adorable animal photos aren't distracting you at all — they're actually aiding in your concentration.
Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan recently exposed a group of test subjects to images of puppies and kittens before having them complete a number of tasks. Those who were exposed to near lethal levels of adorableness were found to be 44% better at playing the childrens' game Operation than those leading a cuteness-free lifestyle. They were also slightly slower — a sign that researchers believe shows that the pictures elicited a heightened level of caring and concentration. In a separate number puzzle task, the group that looked at cute pictures scored 16% better.
Why in the world did anyone bother conducting the study? Well, researchers believe that the power of cute could be harnessed to "induce careful behavioral tendencies in specific situations, such as driving and office work." An excellent point, but we think that the scientists just wanted to look at kittens all day. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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