The benefits of puppy love: Why taking pictures of cute animals into the office could make you work harder
Putting a picture of a cute puppy or kitten on your desk could make you work harder, research suggests.
Looking at pictures of baby animals can improve your concentration by a tenth, a study found.
Researchers also discovered that people who gazed at photographs of puppies and kittens performed better than those who looked at images of adult animals.
Experts believe that becoming more focused is brought on by a cuteness-triggered positive emotion associated with taking motivation from anything that gives you happiness, pleasure, or joy.
The study based its findings on three groups of students - one which looked at images of baby animals, another which looked at adult animals and another which was shown pictures of tasty foods.
Each group was then asked to take part in exercises testing their concentration.
The performance of the group looking at puppies and kittens improved by an average of 10 per cent.
The students looking at adult animals saw performance increase by 5 per cent on average, but the images of food had little effect on the third group.
One of the authors of the study, Hiroshi Nittono of Japan's Hiroshima University, said: 'This study shows that viewing cute things improves subsequent performance in tasks that require behavioural carefulness, possibly by narrowing the breadth of attentional focus.
'This effect is not specific to tasks related to caregiving or social interaction.
'Cute features not only make objects more user-friendly and approachable, but also induce careful behavioural tendencies in the users, which is beneficial in specific situations, such as driving and office work.'