Watching cat videos gives you energy & a positive attitude [study]
The next time your boss gets on your case for watching videos of Grumpy Cat or Lil Bub just show them this study.
Research by Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University Media School, has found that viewing cat videos boosts people’s energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings. And all these things could have a positive impact on your work, right? Right.
According to a press release, almost 7,000 people were surveyed about their cat video viewing habits and related moods. Lil Bub’s owner, Mike Bridavsky helped distribute the survey via social media.
“Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today,” Myrick said. “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.
“We all have watched a cat video online, but there is really little empirical work done on why so many of us do this, or what effects it might have on us.”
There are apparently more than two million cat videos posted on YouTube in 2014, with almost 26 billion views. That’s three cat videos a day for every person on Earth. “Cat videos had more views per video than any other category of YouTube content.”
Participants in Myrick’s study reported:
- • They were more energetic and felt more positive after watching cat- related online media than before.
• They had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness, after watching cat-related online media than before.
• They often view Internet cats at work or during studying.
• The pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.
• Cat owners and people with certain personality traits, such as agreeableness and shyness, were more likely to watch cat videos.
• About 25 percent of the cat videos they watched were ones they sought out; the rest were ones they happened upon.
• They were familiar with many so-called “celebrity cats,” such as Nala Cat and Henri, Le Chat Noir.
• Overall, the response to watching cat videos was largely positive.
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick said.
With that in mind, here’s something to prepare you for your next tough task.