Debatable: Cat Videos Hurt Work, Feelings

Cat videos elevate our mood ... annnnd cat videos cause procrastination and feelings of guilt. Researchers discuss this important topic. What are your thoughts?

An Australian newspaper today reports on the recent research linking procrastination to cat videos. But wait, I hear you say: that’s not news. And you’re right.

The breaking information is that the joy we derive from watching, say, kittens play with adopted husky dog families might be outweighed by the guilt that hits us afterward if we’ve put off important tasks. The Sidney Morning Herald reports that Indiana University has released excerpts from its study on the emotional consequences of procrastination, to be published in November, and it’s totally about cats.
Communications Professor Jessica Gall Myrick found that after people watched videos of cats instead of performing more important tasks, odds were they felt more guilt than happiness. Basically, short-term glee over cat antics was diminished by long-term agony over putting off work.

In a paper titled “Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches internet cats, why, and to what effect?” researchers polled almost 7,000 people on what motivated them to consume cat-related content (including upping their mood and putting off work).

Some of Myrick and team’s findings lean toward supporting how “happiness gained from viewing internet cats can moderate the relationship between procrastination motives, guilt, and enjoyment.” So, the good might outweigh the bad after all?

What did emerge that I think we can all agree on: “Results point to certain personality types being more strongly associated with internet cat consumption.”

Do cat videos distract you from work? Any guilt about it? For research purposes, here are a bunch of cat videos.

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