We are guessing just a few of us spend time looking at cute dogs online — be it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or on a publication like This Dog’s Life. They bring cuteness overload, make us smile and release the feel-good hormone dopamine. And now a research team is looking to prove cute puppy pictures, along with other adorable animals, can make us more productive at work.
A research team lead by Professor Jennifer Ragsdale of the University of Tulsa is conducting a study to see if looking at adorable animals during the day can help reduce work stress and make us more productive.
“Cyberslacking and cyberloafing are seen as deviant work behavior,” Prof. Ragsdale told The Wall Street Journal, “whereas I’m trying to figure out if it has some beneficial work effect.”
The study will be multi-year with approximately 150 subjects being recruited to complete stressful tasks, along with being in a tense situation, like dealing with office politics.
After finishing the task, they will do divided into groups and will take part in a de-stress exercise, most likely meditation, doing a puzzle and looking at cute animals. (Keep in mind not all adorableness is not created equal, with Prof. Ragsdale and team taking into account things like “cute aggression,” or when a photo invokes an intense need to squeeze or even bite the animal because it is so dang cute.) Participants will rate their stress level after completing the exercise to see which one helped with performance.
“It would be nice to tell my boss, ‘Hey, looking at cats makes me more productive,’ ” researcher Kirby Hockensmith, told the outlet.
We shall hope.