- Researchers appear to have found a neural basis for "cute aggression."
- Cute aggression is what happens when you say something like, 'It's so cute I want to crush it!'
- But it's also a complex response that likely serves to regulate strong emotions and allow caretaking of the young to occur.
Percentage of participants responding "yes" to things people say and do, and correlations with ratings of cute aggression. / Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience<p>The results showed that participants expressed higher levels of "cute aggression" when confronted with pictures of cute animals. There was no clear pattern observed when the same participants were exposed to photos of cute and non-cute babies, even though studies in the past have found a litany of connections between cute babies and something else, i.e., cute babies and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3260535/" target="_blank">the activation of baby schema</a> ('baby schema' being the name given to the cute features of a baby that activate care-taking feelings in someone else), cute babies and <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1754073911402396" target="_blank">the social engagement it may spur in others</a>, and more.<br></p><p>But, neurologically, Stavropoulous noted, "there was an especially strong correlation between ratings of cute aggression experienced toward cute animals and the reward response in the brain toward cute animals." What's more, it appears that the brain plays a role in bringing us towards a state of balance, as Stavropoulous went on to note that:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Our study seems to underscore the idea that cute aggression is the brain's way of 'bringing us back down' by mediating our feelings of being overwhelmed." </p><p>There was also a strong correlation between feelings of 'cute aggression' and the feelings associated with care-taking. </p><p>In short, the study seems to offer evidence to affirm something resembling the following: you see a cute animal. You see a cute baby. Your brain rewards you so much that you feel overwhelmed. You express the opposite of that emotion to bring yourself back into balance. This leaves you in a more effective place to take care of a small animal or child.<br></p>
In Japan, kawaii, the love of cuteness, is both culture and science, and it's taking over the world.
You might think that everyone loves cute things. But not the way Japanese people do. In Japan, cuteness is a well-established and very prevalent part of the culture. And, of course, there is a scientific explanation for this. Because science will tackle any question. No matter how cute.
Looking at cute cat photos has potential work benefits according to a study by Hiroshima University researchers.
According to some studies, 15% of all Internet traffic is cat-related. Why do we love them so? One theory is that they remind us of babies, and we are instinctually responding to cat features such as big eyes in little heads. Dopamine rushes to the brain when we see something cute. We crave cuteness like sugar and sex.