Admit it – you like to watch cat videos on the internet. It’s okay, everyone does. The skyrocketing popularity of “internet celebrity” cats like Maru(1) and Lil’ Bub(2), whose antics are captured on youtube for millions of viewers from all over the world, is proof that deep down, we’re suckers for anything adorable.
But now, scientists have given us more reason to indulge in these videos. Studies have shown that they do more than give us the warm fuzzies – they can actually improve emotional regulation, reduce stress, and make us better at our jobs.
Procrastination Or Time Management Strategy?
Anecdotal accounts from various news sources indicate that many people watch cat videos online in order to procrastinate – to put off work-related tasks and other things that they just don’t want to do.
However, scientists are now saying that there’s no reason to feel guilty about engaging in this behavior (in moderation, of course) – because the emotional benefits can actually improve your performance in the long run.
A recent study conducted by assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick discovered that many people watch cat videos while they’re supposed to be studying or working(3). But that doesn’t mean that their performance in those tasks was negatively effected.
In fact, Myrick said in a recent press release,
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward.”(4)
Increasing Happiness And Taking Care
While the study of cute animal videos and their effect on us may seem frivolous, Myrick thinks it’s significant, especially with the advent of an age where many people are almost constantly connected to the internet.
Indeed, she’s not the first person to look into the effects that cuteness can have on our psyches – and our behavior.
One 2012 study based out of Hiroshima, Japan sought to analyze “the power of kawaii”, or cuteness, over our functioning in basic tasks. What they found was that students performed better on tasks involving fine motor dexterity after viewing cute images of puppies and kittens(5).
Interestingly, the students who viewed pictures of puppies and kittens performed better than the students who viewed pictures of fully-grown dogs and cats. The students who viewed the cuter images took more care in the performance of their tasks, causing the researchers to conclude that “cute objects may be used as an emotion elicitor to induce careful behavioral tendencies in specific situations, such as driving and office work.”
A similar study performed in 2009 drew almost the exact same conclusion, hypothesizing that “the human sensitivity to those possessing cute features may be an adaptation that facilitates caring for delicate human young.”(6)
Whether the reason is emotional or evolutionary, or some mix of both, it’s clear that you don’t need to feel as guilty about indulging in cat videos as you think.
- Cancer Survivors Finally Have Proof That Chemo Brain Is Real. Here’s What Researchers Are Saying…
Many cancer survivors have spoken and written about the effects of what has been dubbed “chemo brain” – a spacey …
- Scientists Discover That Living Near Trees Is Good For Your Health
It’s been shown that there are significant cognitive and psychological benefits to being exposed to nature, but in a recent …
- Eating Peanut Butter Can Help Manage Your Appetite And Blood Sugar Levels, Study Finds
If you’re looking to manage your appetite and your blood sugar levels you may need to look no further than …
- Scientists Discover a Simple Way To Make Chocolate More Nutritious (And It Tastes Better Too!)
Chocolate is one of those foods you just can’t help but love! – 7.2 million tons of chocolate are eaten every …
- Pedal Power: Unique New Bicycle-Powered Washing Machine Facilitates Weight Loss
It may seem off the beaten path, but new inventions incorporating bicycle technology are all the rage lately when it …
- Laser Technology Provides New Painless Way To Test Blood Sugar Levels Without Puncturing Your Skin
A new laser device designed to test blood sugar levels could revolutionize the lives of people with diabetes everywhere, researchers …
- What Happened To This Family After They Started Eating Organic For 2 Weeks Straight Is Amazing!
While numerous studies have been done on the subject of pesticides in food and their impact they can have on …
- 3 Easy Rules to Follow For Permanent Weight Loss, According To Science
Getting people to eat healthier is a goal that many public health initiatives have struggled with. Just getting people to …
- The True History Of Chemotherapy & The Pharmaceutical Monopoly
Cancer isn’t just the disease of a generation, it’s been the disease of a century. While cancer charities have been …
- Exposure to Herbicides and Insecticides Increase Your Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease
Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides have all been linked to a wide range of health problems, which is why there is …
- Study Shows That Eating Protein in Equal Amounts Throughout The Day Is Better For Muscles
Go to any fitness and bodybuilding website and scroll through the articles, and you’ll find hundreds or even thousands talking about …
- How The Pharmaceutical Industry Is Partly Responsible For Creating “Superbugs”
While antibiotic drugs like penicillin have saved countless lives and eliminated most public health threats like syphilis, there is a …
- Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Your Meals To Help Lower Blood Sugar And Bad Cholesterol
Now, an Italian study published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes has shown that extra virgin olive oil itself may have …
- Eating 30g of Dietary Fiber a Day Can Help Prevent Diabetes, Study Finds
As of 2012, approximately 29.1 million Americans had diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. That’s 9.3% of the population …
- These Plantable Coffee Cups Are Embedded With Seeds That Turn Into New Plants When Discarded
Every year, Americans throw away approximately 25,000,000,000 styrofoam cups(1). Even worse, these cups are non-biodegradable, meaning that up to 500 …