5 Reasons We Love Tiny, Cute Things, According to Science

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Most of the time, we don’t spend a lot of brain power wondering why the majority of humans behave the way we do. It’s just how it is, and there’s no changing it, and when it comes to small, adorable things, what’s not to like?

Sometimes, though, questions like why just get stuck in our heads, and even though we can usually figure “it has something to do with evolution,” we just have to know.

If you’re feeling that way now, wondering why small, fuzzy, adorable things make humans go all gooey inside, keep reading – answers is what we do!

5. Human beings are born to nuture.

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Konrad Lorenz, one of the founding fathers of the science of animal behavior, hypothesized that features like a rounded head, small size, and big eyes – baby animal characteristics – inspire parental care. They stimulate our nurturing response the same way human babies do, a function that allows our offspring to survive and to thrive.

Recent studies agree, and also think that the concept of “cuteness” that inspires nurturing extends to smell (that new baby scent) and auditory cues, like baby laughter, as well.

Fun fact: more research suggests that we also perceive cute things to be smaller than they are, and most mothers assume their youngest children are shorter than they are in reality.


4. We sense that they need care.

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Cuteness motivates humans to protect, and we become focused, gentle caretakers as a result.

A 2009 study found that people using pictures of cute puppies and kittens did better playing a game of Operation than when they were using pictures of full-grown dogs and cats.

Basically we try harder to care for cute things, and we know they can also be more easily hurt/damaged as well.

3. We assume they’re too small to hurt us.

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Anyone who has had a human infant knows they’re completely helpless, and somehow, this inspires us to care for them with singular dedication.

Small objects and animals pose little threat, at least in our minds, and so we’re willing to get in closer and dig in as far as taking care of them.

2. Everyone loves toys.

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We find inanimate objects, like dolls and toys, cute as well – a fact that manufacturers have capitalized on, making even things like our cars appear to have “faces” that need to be cared for.

When it comes to miniatures, we likely connect them in our minds with toys and being children, which is typically a memory of a simpler and happier time.

1. Our brains enjoy the details.

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Miniatures condense a ton of visuals into a limited space, and our senses really loves parsing the richness of the tiny, intricate details.

Research has shown that our senses are drawn to things that hold a big amount of information, so things like miniatures likely stimulate our brains with the sensory input it craves.

I honestly don’t care why, but it is nice to have some more knowledge to throw around at parties, don’t you think?

What’s your favorite tiny squishy thing? Let’s keep awwing in the comments!