Ever wonder why seeing pictures of adorable puppies turns humans into piles of emotional mush?
Stanford University Professor Robert M. Sapolsky looked into the phenomenon and came up with some very intriguing, scientifically backed explanations, which he shared in the Wall Street Journal.
It boils down to a couple of factors.
At the core of the matter is that as humans, we prefer babies over adults, particularly cute ones.
Studies have shown that when viewing images of human babies, subjects show a much greater fondness for the adorable ones than those deemed average or below.
Science has also unearthed the ugly truth that as caregivers, people feel a more intense desire to protect the attractive ones.
It's been further observed that cute babies are shown greater degrees of affection by their mothers than those that are plain looking.
That impulse applies to puppies as well due to the fact that our brain's hardwiring has a serious glitch.
When it comes to babies and cuteness, it makes no difference if they're human or brought into the world by another mammal.
Regardless of whether the subject of the gaze is a puppy, baby whale, or a little furry hamster, we judge them equally and respond accordingly.
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