Looking at Baby Animal Photos Increases Productivity
When economists talk about boosting productivity, they usually talk about increasing the adoption of new technologies and optimizing workflows. Japanese researchers, however, have come up with a very offbeat approach: Showing workers lots of pictures of adorable, fuzzy, baby animals.
A team of researchers at Hiroshima University recently conducted a study where they showed university students pictures of baby animals before completing various tasks. What they found, in research published today, was that those who saw the baby animal pictures did more productive work after seeing those photographs – even more than those who saw a picture of an adult animal or a pleasant food.
Researchers at Hiroshima University recruited 48 college students to play a game similar to Operation. They tested them after seeing puppy and kitten photos, adult animal photos and tasty food photos. Then they played the game. The results were the same across genders.
The researchers wrote:
Caring for babies (nurturance) not only involves tender treatments but also requires careful attention to the targets’ physical and mental states as well as vigilance against possible threats to the targets. If viewing cute things makes the viewer more attentive, the performance of a non-motor perceptual task would also be improved.
Read a Washington Post blog, which broke the story, here. Buzzfeed rounded up 38 productivity-enhancing photos