Japanese Researchers at the University of Hiroshima recently completed a study they called The Power of Kawaii (Japanese term for ‘cute things’). It argues that people who look at seemingly “cute” pictures throughout the day are actually more productive than their counterparts (those who choose not to peruse through various cute pictures intermittently).
In the experiment, there were three varieties of images involved: infants and baby animals, adult animals, and food. It was documented that participants who looked at infant and baby animal pictures (“cute” pictures) during breaks were measured to have the highest performance levels while working.
Life Sciences Researchers claim that the high efficiency rate of those participants who had viewed the “cute” pictures is related to how the viewers’ brains reacted to the babies in the pictures. In general, people – when interacting with infants – slow down their speech and mannerisms, allowing for the child to receive and understand their actions. Likewise, looking at the “cute” pictures slowed down the participants, as if they were actually interacting with the infants in the photographs. Additionally, in slowing down the pace of their work, the participants gave themselves more of a chance to focus on their tasks, increasing accuracy.
Simultaneously, however, some researchers from the independent Florida Gator group call this conclusion a sham. They say the “cute” pictures do nothing but distract employees from their work; simply allowing justification for straying from the task at hand.
What’s your take on the case? Remember: if nothing else, a smile will ease up the office energy, making it a more pleasurable time at work. And a smile might make the difference between a rough day and a fruitful day, right? Whatever the case may be, don’t ignore the next email you get: it just might increase your efficiency for the day!