If you are among the millions of animal lovers who happen to experience this strange need to squish and squeeze overly cute little pups, kittens or other fluffy animals, don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you.
In fact, this means you are perfectly normal and your emotions function properly. (Well, as “properly” and “logically” as human emotions go, anyway.)
So, why does this peculiar mix of emotions happen?
All Aboard the Bipolar Express
The experiment sowed that people popped 20% more bubbles for the pictures of cute animals. What a shocker.
Further research lead scientists to believe that this aggressive response is due to something called dimorphous expressions (think tears of joy), which is mirrored in a paradoxical combination of positive and negative emotions we all experience sometimes.
“Negative emotion is designed to support the immediate well-being of the [participant]. Any extreme emotional spike requires a large amount of energy, so our brain’s attempt to regulate our emotions is to elicit the opposite reaction,” one of the researchers stated.
The “it’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” line just got way too real.