Join 3,378 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Cute Overload: Now with more productivity!
October 1, 2012 10:44 AM   Subscribe

The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus This is interpreted as the result of a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing.
posted by EvaDestruction (19 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a cute an interesting concept.

Unfortunately, most kawaii images also tend towards the expression of a feminine/ized object, and the person I'm trying to apply this to is masculine and has enough things going on without having to defend "girly" things in his life to the masses.

I've been thinking and designing things along the lines of these cute reminders to help the kids zero in on tasks or "scene changes", using favorite characters like Super Mario or the SuperHero Squad buddies. Good to see I'm not completely off base with my guess of using such things to remind/focus.
posted by tilde at 10:51 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is exactly what I told my boss when I had CorgiCam up and running constantly as I was doing work. I was totally using them as a productivity tool! So focused!

on the corgis
posted by phunniemee at 10:53 AM on October 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is interpreted as the result of a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing.

I assumed it was because the next task after viewing a cute being "in the wild" is usually caring for that being (feeding, teaching, etc) and that task would benefit from careful, attentional behavior.

See also: The narrow attentional focus displayed by parents with a screaming baby. Holy crap is it ever hard to think of anything else when that sound starts. MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP CHANGE THE DIAPER PUT FOOD IN ok, now I can think again.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been using this kitchen timer productivity thing to get stuff done, where you set it for half an hour, then you take a break for a few minutes, and then you go back. Perhaps the secret of this method is the fact that, during my break, I look at the Something Awful cat thread.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:56 AM on October 1, 2012


Is this just so that adults can make excuses for all of the stuffed animals they have in their offices? In any case, I am going to go get a Hello Kitty doll to take to work with me every day.
posted by Yellow at 10:59 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, this reminds me a lot of the study they did where they found that it was the sweetness in Gatorade that increased performance, not the whole electrolyte thing. Easy rewards in the middle of hard work is a good thing!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:59 AM on October 1, 2012


I wonder if this explains my ADD-aligned roomie's affection of cute cartoons (a la Powerpuff Girls). Self Medication!
posted by symbioid at 11:07 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this just so that adults can make excuses for all of the stuffed animals they have in their offices? In any case, I am going to go get a Hello Kitty doll to take to work with me every day.

Hrm, good point. I have a carnivorous pear, a PVZ squash, and a calico plush kitten within reach. Only the pear and squash have elicited comment ...
posted by tilde at 11:08 AM on October 1, 2012


I wonder if this explains my ADD-aligned roomie's affection of cute cartoons (a la Powerpuff Girls). Self Medication!

I'm a Badtz Maru girl, actually....
posted by selfmedicating at 11:21 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this explains my ADD-aligned roomie's affection of cute cartoons (a la Powerpuff Girls). Self Medication!
I'm a Badtz Maru girl, actually....
posted by selfmedicating at 2:21 PM on October 1
Eponysterical!
posted by tilde at 11:35 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus

Hmm. Finally something to explain why road work in Japan is almost always surrounded by cute frog or rabbit construction barriers.
posted by Kevtaro at 11:46 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


They say viewing Momento Mori images causes more empathetic judgement. So maybe we should try images of dead babies.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:17 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why don't they just use geothermal like they do on the Big Island?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:53 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


... I haven't yet gotten past being impressed and envious that someone found a way to make their research/job require viewing a whole bunch of cute photos of kittens and puppies (presumably they had to spend a fair amount of time on the internet making sure that they found the right, cutest photos for the slide show for their research experiment) to have thought about the research itself and the implications of their results.
posted by eviemath at 1:06 PM on October 1, 2012


I'm deliberately extremely un-cute because I think narrowing of attentional focus is a bad thing.
posted by srboisvert at 1:13 PM on October 1, 2012


> Is this just so that adults can make excuses for all of the stuffed animals they have in their offices?

I have a terminator furby in mine. For kawaii I let it keep its ears.
posted by jfuller at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2012


I now have a scientific explanation for why my cubical at work is decorated with My Little Pony figures. Thanks!
posted by SPrintF at 6:55 PM on October 1, 2012


So when my cat jumps on my lap and starts purring loudly he's actually helping me be more productive?
posted by mike3k at 10:07 PM on October 1, 2012


So more serious strategy games should have Plants vs Zombies style adorable design?
posted by subdee at 1:42 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for pa...  |  If every person on Earth aimed... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments