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Why do we Have Such a Penchant for Cute Things in Popular Culture?

Have you ever wondered why so many people regard the same things as cute? And why is it that classically adorable things always provoke such positive reactions in people? The entertainment industry realised that people have a proclivity towards adorable characters, which is why they are so prevalent throughout television series, films, and games. It turns out that the reason for this is because cute things actually stimulate parts of the brain that make us feel pleasure.

Cute Things Activate Pleasurable Brain Activity

Science has finally proven that there is a good reason why so many people like the look of cute things, which usually come in the form of animals. It’s because seeing them stimulates activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain associated with pleasure-fuelled emotions.

There have been countless studies into this phenomenon. Some research has highlighted the neurological factors involved by examining brain activity of participants when exposed to attractive stimuli. Other papers have noted the behaviour of subjects while in the presence of adorable stimuli. It has been discovered that people are more likely to give treats or toys to creatures that they deem to be cute.

Entertainment Providers Know That Cute Sells

Successful companies in the entertainment industry know how to get through to their target audiences, and utilising lovability is one of the most common tactics. Think about it, there have been so many endearing characters in films, television, and games over the years. Scrat in Ice Age, Gromit in Wallace and Gromit, and Wall-E the robot are three prime examples – but the list is endless.

Cuteness has been seen in gaming a lot as well. For online casino players, for example, the Fluffy Favourites slot game has an adorable animal theme to appeal to pet lovers. It utilises classic ‘cute’ imagery and animals, setting out a clear target aesthetic and intention. Other adorable game characters from elsewhere in the sector include Toad from the Mario games, Pikachu from Pokémon, and Om Nom from the Cut the Rope series for mobile.

Is This Why We Have Pets?

This research into the effects of cuteness on people’s brains could also be the main reason why so many people choose to keep pets. Cats and dogs are among the most popular pets in the world, with 23 percent of people owning the former and 33 percent opting for the latter. Some people buy dogs for security or disability reasons but, aside from that, these animals don’t serve much purpose at all besides companionship. The main factor people consider when buying a dog is usually how it looks as a cute puppy, though people often forget that these tiny squishy fur balls grow up to be much larger and a lot less cuddly.

The overwhelmingly positive response from people, when exposed to adorable things, supports what science has said on the subject. Simply put, looking at them makes us feel content, which is why there are so many cutesy characters in popular culture, and why the overall aesthetic and image is utilised to such an extent. Every Disney movie needs a cuddly sidekick that can be made into a plushie, and every home needs a cute cat sat in the window.

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