You know how you see a baby, a cute one, as seen below, and say something like, “I just wanna eat you up!” Or, “I just wanna smush those chubby cheeks!” Or, “I’m gonna hug you and squeeze you!” Maybe you grit your teeth when you say it and try not to pinch/squish/nibble so hard it actually hurts the cute little baby?
Yeah? Feel like a weirdo? Wonder why you have the urge to mash a small baby’s delicate parts? Well, wonder no more!
Presenting their findings at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference on Jan. 18, researchers linked cuteness with aggressive tendencies and labeled the behavior “cute aggression,” LiveScience reported from the event.
Oriana Aragon and Rebecca Dyer, graduate psychology students at Yale University, led the research that found a connection between photos of adorable pets and the desire to squish or squeeze the fluffy critters, the way a grandmother might squeeze a baby’s cheeks.
“It’s everywhere,” Aragon told The Huffington Post, citing examples of Google’s auto-complete for the search phrase “so cute I could…”
“So cute I could… die, eat you up, kill you, maul you,” Aragon continued. “It’s just all this violence.”
While the Filipino word “gigil” describes the urge to pinch something because it is cute, Aragon told HuffPost there is no English equivalent. Source: Huffington Post
Read more about how Aragon and Dyer conducted the study, what motivated them, and more here.