The next time your boss walks up on you watching cat videos, blame it on science.
People are positively purring about a study by Indiana University Bloomington assistant professor Jessica Gall Myrick that documents some positives in watching those furry critters.
Myrick said she surveyed almost 7,000 people — 36% of whom described themselves as a “cat person” — to gauge how watching cat videos affected their moods. She found that those who viewed the videos felt more energetic and more positive afterward, with less anxiety and fewer negative emotions.
“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,” said Myrick, who is a dog owner. “As a media researcher and online cat video viewer, I felt compelled to gather some data about this pop culture phenomenon.”
And she said that while many people use cat videos to put off work or studies, that may not necessarily be a bad thing.
“Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional payoff may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” Myrick said.