“Puppies in baskets” calendar in your officemate’s cubicle: Cry for help, or savvy productivity booster? ??
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
Recently, students in Japan were asked to play the national version of the game "Operation," complete with tweezers and buzzer. Between rounds, students were given photos to view. One group saw pictures of adult cats and dogs, the other saw wide-eyed puppies and fluffy kittens. Then students returned to the game.
Bizarre new Japanese game show? Actually no, it was part of a study by researchers at Hiroshima University. They were testing a psychology theory that suggests that positive emotions, triggered by cuteness, enhance people's ability to focus.??
And? It turns out, students who viewed puppies and kittens played more quickly, and with fewer mistakes, than those whose pictures rained cats and dogs. Two other experiments using word-search and number-search games had similar results.
Take home wisdom from the Japanese? If you’re job hunting, send out your resume on Hello Kitty stationery! Potential bosses will be impressed! If they know the research. Fingers crossed.
The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.