Why do the cutest things in the world make us so violent?
Does this picture make you want to punch something? Or have you ever looked at a cute baby or puppy and said: "I just want to eat you up"? It's a figure of expression we use when looking at something irresistibly adorable, and now science has found out just why we react the way we do!
Researchers discovered that while we verbalize our need to squeeze something cute like a puppy, we also act on it. They called that initial reaction "cute aggression" and although it sounds scary, it's actually the norm!
I've always wondered why we get the urge to squeal and squeeze a cute animal and now we may have an answer. We don't want to hurt these creatures, but we are responding in a way aggressively which they may not appreciate.
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One of the researchers says the reason we respond this way is because the high positive effect we get when seeing a cute animal makes us feel like we are losing control. The study was conducted on 109 people to test their reactions to images of animals online and had them rate them from "I can't handle it!" to "I want to squeeze something." Researchers saw that the cuter the animal, the more people lost control when looking at them compared to the other funny or neutral animal pictures.
Another test they conducted on a different group of people was to test motor activity and memory by giving the testers bubble wrap and playing them slideshows of cute animals. They confirmed their theory which assumed that the cuter the animal, the people would pop the bubble wrap. On average those cute pictures triggered over 120 pops in comparison to the neutral and funny animal images. The irony about this aggressive response we have is that former studies have shown that we should want to treat the animal gently and with care.
Although a real reason hasn't been found as to why act aggressively towards cute animals, researchers say it may be because of our need to care for it and being frustrated that we can't. Hence, the aggression comes out. These high levels of positive emotion may overwhelm us causing us to act in a way that appears to be negatively.
Wow, so that's why I want to squeeze a cute puppy whenever I see one on the street! It's funny how humans react to certain things, especially when it comes to animals. We aren't aware of how strong we may come off to our pets and other adorable animals since we are experiencing a natural human reaction to them. Hmm, I wonder if they have a similar reaction to humans? Maybe running away is their response if they're squeezed too hard. So let's try and be gentle with our pets, the last thing we want to do is hurt them!
Image via Corgnelius/ Facebook