Cute makes you careful: study
According to Japanese researchers, cute things make people more careful and narrow their fields of attention.
According to the research paper in Plos One, the researchers performed three tests to check their hypothesis.
The first test involved getting 48 people to play a children's game involving picking up small body parts out of a human figure (The game was Bilibili Dr. game, Megahouse, Tokyo, Japan).
They were then split into two groups, one group being shown baby animals and another was shown pictures of adult animals. When they replayed the game, the group that was shown the cute baby animals improved more than the group that had been shown the adult animals.
The second test involved a visual matrix, where a new batch of 48 subjects were shown a picture and had to find the digit shown on the left of the picture, and count how many times it appeared. They were then split into three groups, one shown cute baby animals, another adult animals, and the third was shown food.
The cute baby animals group improved their scores more than the other two groups.
The final test involved 36 students, who had to identify the letters H or T. The trick here was that the images they were shown were letters made up of other letters (designated the global and local letter respectively).
What they found was that the group shown the baby animals had a slower reaction time for the global letter than the other groups, but were slightly quicker on the local letter.
In other words people were taking just that little bit more time to check within the letters before hitting the button.
"Cute features not only make objects more user friendly and approachable, but also induce careful behavioural tendencies in the users, which is beneficial in specific situations, such as driving and office work," the researchers wrote.