Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I will love him and squeeze him and call him George.
April 29, 2014 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Cute things are made for squeezing. Scientists study why we want to squeeze, squish, pinch, and eat cute things. "Volunteers were given bubble wrap and told they could pop as much of it as they wanted. When faced with a slideshow of cute animals, people popped 120 bubbles, whereas people watching the funny and neutral slideshows popped 80 and 100 bubbles respectively."
posted by cmyk (21 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't speak to its validity, but I love the methodology of this research.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:44 PM on April 29 [8 favorites]


Hmm, what about the atavistic urge to kill cute competitors of our own offspring?
posted by idiopath at 1:54 PM on April 29


That sounds like a great opening scene for literary descendant of Douglas Copeland to write, a stream-of-consciousness ramble through the existentialist crisis piqued in the research assistant who had to sit around for nine hours trying to map the contours of the human soul by tallying popped plastic hemi-spheres. Only 68 on this sheet, perhaps Subject R is under-medicated...I am Subject R...I am subject, and object, and abject...shit, did I just pop one of these myself?
posted by Diablevert at 1:55 PM on April 29 [5 favorites]


I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.
posted by scalefree at 2:08 PM on April 29 [6 favorites]


Exactly.

Cute things are prey.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:14 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Heck, I could have told them this. Before our child, whenever a baby commercial would air, my wife would start making gentle pinching motions in the air towards the screen. That's when I knew for certain I was sunk...
posted by jim in austin at 2:18 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Relevant QI link.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:22 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Diablevert, you should probably go ahead and write the rest of that book. please&thanks
posted by Taft at 2:24 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


This is simply the physical manifestation, however misguided, of the instinctual urge to make thin hamster.
posted by darksasami at 2:50 PM on April 29 [7 favorites]


So has anyone else ever had an urge to squeeze a little newborns head until it just pops and splurges brain and skull all over???
posted by symbioid at 2:53 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


This is why I feel like so much prey and my boss is predator. Cuz I'm fabulously adorable! ^___^
posted by symbioid at 2:55 PM on April 29


Science. It doesn't work this way.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:31 PM on April 29


I'm just going to go ahead and assume this why the sight of Tom Hiddleston's adorable awful face makes me feel like slapping the crap out of him. I'm not nuts; it's science.
posted by mostlymartha at 3:59 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Cute is also a defense mechanism. There are those disturbing stories about a prey animal murdering a mama and then cuddling the child. I think the squeezing is protective or maybe we have an inner divide with one instinct to kill and eat the cute and another to protect it...?
posted by Skwirl at 4:03 PM on April 29


I guess this is as good a place as any to ask this without burning my AskMe quota... does anyone else here ever find yourself grinding your teeth subconsciously when you're giving your dog a bellyrub? Seems like it might be tangentially related to the "urge to squeeze"/"cuteness agression".
posted by Riki tiki at 5:19 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Riki tiki - yes! I have to consciously stop myself from clenching my teeth while scritching my pets .. I chalked it up to a weird way my body was releasing stress, but this might have more to do with it.
posted by Fig at 6:19 PM on April 29


It's so weird that two of you mentioned the gritting teeth thing. The exact same thing happens to me regularly when petting my dog, to the point where sometimes I make my teeth hurt and have to consciously relax them. My mini dachshund puppy is literally so cute it hurts. I always assumed I just had some weird miswiring in my brain. Good to know that not only am I not the only one, science actually has an answer for why. Science!
posted by TheCowGod at 7:07 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


TheCowGod: I am 100% a cat person, but that dog has reduced me to inarticulate cries of "squee!"
posted by thomas j wise at 7:36 PM on April 29


I am constantly having to stop myself biting chunks out of my nieces' necks, and squeezing my Mum's dog until all her little bones snap. This is making me feel less like a psychopath. And TheCowGod, you'd better hope I never meet your dog because I would love it to a pulp.
posted by billiebee at 4:17 AM on April 30


Relevant Key and Peele Link.
posted by confabulous at 6:59 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


So when my kitty starts gnawing on my arm, or runs and jumps up on whatever I'm walking by and tags me with a little fuzzy paw, that just means that I'm too cute for him to handle, right? For my part I usually do this ritual chant of "gonna eat you right up" when giving him belly rubs.
posted by mcrandello at 9:48 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


« Older "The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the ca...  |  "If the accessories are not ex... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments