Watching photos and videos of cute animals is good for the brain.
Such “therapy” may seem unscientific, but in fact the effectiveness of this approach is confirmed by research results. When we look at something cute, the level of stress decreases, productivity increases, and even this activity can strengthen our marriage.
Conrad Lorenz, the Austrian zoopsychologist, also explained the nature of our affection: we are attracted by creatures with large heads, huge eyes, puffy cheeks and large foreheads, because they remind us of our own babies. The pleasure that our ancestors enjoyed contemplating their babies made them care for their children. This is happening today, but our sympathy extends not only to human cubs, but also to pets.
Researcher in the theory of mass communications Jessica Gall Meyrick studied for a long time what emotions funny animals evoke in us, photos and videos of which we find on the expanses of the Web, and found that we experience the same warmth as when interacting with real babies. There is simply no difference for the brain. “Even watching the kittens video helps the subjects feel better: they feel a surge of positive emotions and energy.”
The Mayrik study involved 7,000 people. They were interviewed before and after watching photos and videos with cats, and it turned out that the longer you look at them, the more pronounced the effect. Scientists suggested: since the images evoked positive emotions in the subjects, they expected the same emotions from watching similar pictures and videos in the future.
Perhaps it’s time to unsubscribe from the “rich and famous” and subscribe to the tailed and shaggy “influencers”
True, scientists write that, perhaps, people who were not indifferent to animals were more likely to participate in the study, which could affect the results. In addition, the sample consisted of 88% of women, who tend to be touched more by young animals. By the way, in another study, it was found that, after the subjects were shown photographs of cute animals on the farm, the appetite for meat fell more strongly in women than in men. Perhaps the fact is that, as a rule, it is women who care about babies.
Hiroshi Nittono, director of the cognitive psychophysiological laboratory at Osaka University, conducted several studies of “kawaii,” a concept that means everything sweet, pretty, pretty. According to him, viewing “kawaii” images has a double effect: firstly, it distracts us from situations that cause boredom and stress, and secondly, “reminds us of warmth and tenderness – feelings that many of us lack.” “Of course, the same effect can be achieved if you read soulful books or watch similar films, but, you must agree, it takes more time, while viewing pictures and videos helps to quickly fill the gap.”
Moreover, it can positively affect romantic relationships. In a 2017 study, it was found that when couples look together at images of cute animals, they start to associate positive feelings caused by viewing positive feelings with a partner.
At the same time, one must be careful with the choice of platforms for viewing such photos and videos. So, as a result of another study conducted in 2017, it turned out that Instagram does the most emotional harm to us, partly because of how users of this social network present themselves. When we see the “ideal life of ideal people”, many of them become sad and ill.
But this is not a reason to delete your account. Perhaps it’s time to unsubscribe from the “rich and famous” and subscribe to the tailed and shaggy “influencers.” And the brain will thank you.