Research scientists have made some amazing discoveries over the years. Many of their findings have given us a better quality of life, improved health and longevity. It warmed my heart when I discovered this fascinating study, although there are some folks who might not consider this researcher’s findings highly significant. However, I do believe that those of us who are enamoured with the feline species will get a kick out of the conclusions she reached.
According to an article on Ifl.Science.com, by Caroline Reid, the goal of this project was to ascertain if “Cat videos are really the emotional regulators the world heralds them to be”. One scientist, Assistant Professor from Indiana University, Jessica Myrick, launched an epic study in which over 6,500 people were surveyed about whether their moods were improved by watching cat videos.
“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. 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”.
What makes this study so fascinating to me is that Myrick isn’t even owned by a cat. She owns a Pug, but I find it is remarkable that Myrick would undertake a study pertaining to the effects that cat videos can have on people, instead of exploring the effect that canine videos could have on people. I think she is thinking “outside the box” – although cat people dread hearing this expression when it comes to their pet kitties.
Perhaps Myrick’s statement may explain her reasoning for choosing cat videos for her study. She said:
“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. As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.”
In my opinion I think that Myrick is saying that feline behavior is more fascinating and entertaining than the canine species; but this is my totally unscientific “interpurrpatation”, so please pardon my taking such a liberty!
Apparently, all the new accounts cropping up may be suggestive of the possibility that online cat videos serve people who are watching them by helping them to procrastinate about doing tasks that aren’t interesting. Myrick postulated, however that watching them could also make people associate cat videos with feelings of guilt, although they do so on their own time. However, on the other hand, based on her research she also thinks that the pleasure derived from watching cat videos can often offset any of the watcher’s guilt. However, the positive emotion associated with watching a cat video can boost energy levels.
“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…..a short cat video can give someone the energy to maybe attend to more important news or tasks afterward.”
However, to gain more insight into her theories, Myrick must undertake further research to examine whether there is a correlation between online cat videos in general; and if the people who watch them actually work harder. In Myrick’s opinion the selected sample size she used wasn’t a complete representation of the Internet, and that most of the test takers were female (84.4%), making it possible that, in general, men may respond to them in a dissimilar manner.
I just have to acknowledge Caroline Reid for sharing the results of what I purrsonally think is a stellar piece of research. And since IFLScience advocates excellent, honest research, our readers can even participate in their own mini-cat video experiment
Check into how you are feeling emotionally right now – if you are feeling tired, upset that your lunch-break is over, or even disgusted that anyone would take the time to research this topic like this!
Watch this cat video by mugumogu and let us know how it altered your mood in a comment.
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