Myrick surveyed nearly 7,000 individuals about their cat video viewing behavior and how watching cat videos affected their moods. Mike Bridavsky, Lil' Bub's owner, aided the study by distributing the survey through social media.
Myrick hoped to answer a couple of questions with her study. She wanted to determine if watching online cat videos has the same type of positive effect that pet therapy does. Additionally, she wanted to explore whether people actually felt worse after watching online cat videos because they feel guilty about procrastinating tasks they need to complete.
The most popular sites used to watch cat videos in Myrick's study were Facebook, YouTube, BuzzFeed, and I Can Has Cheezburger. Of the participants in the study, approximately 60% said that they liked cats and dogs while 36% identified themselves as a "cat person."
Participants reported that they often watch cat videos at work or while studying. Myrick also discovered that cat owners as well as individuals with certain personality traits, such as shyness and agreeableness were more likely to watch online cat videos.
The participants reported feeling more positive and energetic after viewing cat videos than they had before. Additionally, they indicated that they had fewer negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and annoyance after watching cat-related media than they did before. In regards to Myrick's question about feeling guilty over procrastinating, participants reported that the pleasure they received from watching online cat videos outweighed any guilt they felt about procrastinating.
For each completed survey, Myrick donated 10 cents to Lil' Bub's foundation, Lil Bub's Big Fund for the ASPCA.
In light of these results and, because today is International Box Day, take a moment to watch this cute cat video before tackling your work.
If you can't see the video, you can watch it on YouTube here.
How do you feel after watching cat videos?
IU Bloomington Newsroom: Not-so-guilty Pleasure: Viewing Cat Videos Boosts Energy and Positive Emotions, IU Study Finds.