WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT?

Cat videos have more views per video than any other category of YouTube content. There may be a reason for this that most of us never considered. Viewing cat videos can boost your energy, create positive emotions and decrease negative feelings, according to a study from Indiana University in Bloomington. "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," said study leader and assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick. "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. The study found:
  • 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 while studying.
  • The pleasure they got from watching cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating other tasks.
  • 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.
"Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward," Myrick said.

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