Baby Animals Boost Productivity

February 13, 2013

By Amy Hackworth. Images by Animal Print Shop, used with permission.

All together now: Aww-ahhhh.

Don’t you just melt when you see Animal Print Shop’s fine art images of baby animals? The images capture all that sweetness with such fresh, incredible style.

Little creatures are undeniably sweet and we’ve been drawn to them for years judging by the motivational posters with which our elementary school teachers adorned their walls and the dentists of our youth decorated their ceilings. You remember the kitten dangling from a tree with the clever text, “Hang in There”? Or the basket of sleepy puppies? The kitten curled up with the dog?

There’s no end to the absolute adorability of baby animals, and — great news! — it turns out looking at pictures of tiny, furry creatures has been proven to boost productivity. In a Japanese study students’ focus and skill measurably improved after viewing images of baby animals, and was significantly higher than their peers who viewed images of adult animals or delicious food. Fascinating, right?

The study suggests that the improved productivity may come from increased attention, a sort of visual power of suggestion that makes us apply the care and nurture babies require to the task at hand. Other scientists have suggested we feel tenderly toward baby animals because they remind us of our own young. My own theory has to do with their adorable tininess and utter irresistibility.

Previously, I’d have been happy to leave the animal posters on classroom walls and dentists’ ceilings, but that was before I’d seen this face, and before I realized how much this little lamb and I could get done. Watch out to-do list, here we come.

Animal Print Shop’s baby monkey! And the crane! And the camel!

A pigmy hippo? Are you kidding me? Plus 30 other cute babies.

The study isn’t clear if illustrations of baby animals have the same effect, but this ABC print is definitely worth the risk.

A choral composer and his choir get serious about nine adorable animal photos. (Side note: My husband came in while I was watching this and drily said, “What would we do without the internet?” Great question.)

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Loni February 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

Well, not to throw a wrench in things, but what about people who are not inherently animal lovers? In fact, I have a friend who posts dozens of cutesy animal pix on Facebook every day and they just annoy me….I really find this study difficult to believe…I need lots more proof. But, on another note, some of the links didn’t work for me.


2 Amy Hackworth February 13, 2013 at 10:19 am

Ha! I’m not an inherent animal lover, either–far from it. But baby animals (obviously) are a different story for me. Maybe we’ll have to conduct our own study for further proof. :)


3 Amy Hackworth February 13, 2013 at 10:20 am

Oh, and thanks for the note about the links! Looks like they are working now.


4 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity February 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

How adorable. I love the nursery with just the head shots of baby animals. By the way, most of the links don’t work for me either.


5 Giulia February 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

would this one increase my productivity?
hahahaha, it’s not a baby but i’m sure happy goats can’t hurt…


6 Giulia February 13, 2013 at 11:48 am

oh, and all the links worked for me :)


7 Amy Hackworth February 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Ha! I’m certain it would. That guy is CUTE!


8 Mei February 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

baby monkey!!!! :D


9 Corrie Anne February 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I believe it. I have two cute dogs around all day, and they definitely boost productivity. Okay, maybe not. I guess we’re all 3 in bed right now reading blogs, but we’ll get to everything later. :)

And I’m sharing that YouTube video with my piano students – they’ll love it!


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