We are now in the Year of the Pig as part of the Chinese Zodiac. Chinese New Year was last week. These are some super cute pig bread snacks I took pictures of in a Breadtalk Bakery in Shenzhen, China recently. #yearofthepig #pigs #cute #foodies #bread #chinesesnack
Image by J. F. Horrabin, via Wikimedia Commons Bertrand Russell saw the history of civilization as being shaped by an unfortunate oscillation between two opposing evils: tyranny and anarchy, each of which contain the seed of the other.
Researchers say human brains can become overwhelmed by cute traits, such as large eyes and small noses, embodied by movie characters like Bambi.
Disney Junior/Disney Channel via Getty Images
The holiday season is all about cute. Youʼve got those ads with adorable children and those movies about baby animals with big eyes.
But when people encounter too much cuteness, the result can be something scientists call "cute aggression."
People "just have this flash of thinking: ʼI want to crush itʼ or ʼI want to squeeze it until popsʼ or ʼI want to punch it,ʼ " says Katherine Stavropoulos, a psychologist in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside.
About half of all adults have those thoughts sometimes, says Stavropoulos, who published a study about the phenomenon in early December in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. But those people wouldnʼt really take a swipe at Bambi or Thumper, she says.
"When people feel this way, itʼs with no desire to cause harm," Stavropoulos says. The thoughts appear to be an involuntary response to being overwhelmed by a positive emotion.
Cute aggression is often baffling and embarrassing to the people who experience it. Stavropoulos says they think, "This is weird; Iʼm probably the only one who feels this way. I donʼt want to hurt it. I just want to eat it."
Cute aggression was first described by researchers at Yale University several years ago.
But Stavropoulos, a cute aggressor herself, wanted to know what it looked like in the brain.
So she and a colleague recorded the electrical activity in the brains of 54 young adults as they looked at images of animals and people.
The images included both grown-ups and babies. Some had been manipulated to look less appealing. Others were made extra adorable, meaning "big cheeks, big eyes, small noses — all these features we associate with cuteness," Stavropoulos says.
The study found that for the entire group of participants, cuter creatures were associated with greater activity in brain areas involved in emotion. But the more cute aggression a person felt, the more activity the scientists saw in the brainʼs reward system.
That suggests people who think about squishing puppies appear to be driven by two powerful forces in the brain. "Itʼs not just reward and itʼs not just emotion," Stavropoulos says. "Both systems in the brain are involved in this experience of cute aggression."
The combination can be overwhelming. And scientists suspect thatʼs why the brain starts producing aggressive thoughts. The idea is that the appearance of these negative emotions helps people get control of the positive ones running amok.
"It could possibly be that somehow these expressions help us to just sort of get it out and come down off that baby high a little faster," says Oriana Aragón, an assistant professor at Clemson University who was part of the Yale team that gave cute aggression its name.
Aggressive thoughts in response to adorable creatures are just one example of "dimorphous expressions of positive emotion," Aragón says.
"So people who, you know, want to pinch the babies cheeks and growl at the baby are also people who are more likely to cry at the wedding or cry when the babyʼs born or have nervous laughter," she says.
Aragon says sheʼs one of these people: "For me, puppies are just amazing and adorable and cute and I cannot resist them."
Calving is over for now! This is the last calf born, his mother is Spotty. Born yesterday. He's so cute! And I am so tired of cattle-sitting! The cow I mentioned in an earlier post, Minnie, had a rough time. She was in labor too long and her calf did not survive. It was very hard on her but she is OK and has recovered nicely. Aside from that the herd is doing great. #cattle #farm #ranch #animals #cow #calf #reallife #cute #animal #baby #birth #livestock #christmaspresent #december
The gift (talent) of the magi Sells husband’s gun for NRA TV subscription Husband strangles you instead of shooting you this time Violent misogynists love guns 💕 Violent misogynists love to strangle Look up the statistics Then check out how many cops are violent misogynists The grift of the magi (R-MO Talent)