March 17, 2023

Why Are Babies So Cᴜᴛᴇ

Why Are Babies So Cᴜᴛᴇ

Chubby cheeks, dimple chin, rosy lips.  When we think about a baby, any baby, the First word that comes to our mind is Cᴜᴛᴇ. But what is it about babies that makes us behave towards them the way we do?

Tracing the roots oF Cᴜᴛᴇ

In the 1930s an Austrian ᴇᴛʜᴏʟᴏɢɪsᴛ carried out a sᴛᴜᴅʏ on animals to explain human behavior. He was later awarded Nobel Prize For his exemplary work in the Field. He came up with the concept oF ᴋɪɴᴅᴄʜᴇɴsᴄʜᴇᴍᴀ, ᴏʀ “ʙᴀʙʏ sᴄʜᴇᴍᴀ”: According to his theory inFants oF many mammal species have a suite oF Features, such as a large head, large eyes, and a small nose, that prompt a caregiving response.

Why Are Babies So Cᴜᴛᴇ – Explained

The research reiterated that ‘awwww’ is not the only human response to the Cᴜᴛᴇness oF babies. Their Features want adults to care For them and protect them. It is our natural instinct, something that we have been blessed with. It is probably because babies won’t make it into adulthood without adult supervision. The Cᴜᴛᴇness oF babies implores adults to take care oF them and help them evolve into Fully Functioning adults.

In 2009, the sᴄɪᴇɴᴛɪꜰɪᴄ at the University oF Pennsylvania decided to put the theory oF Lorenz to an experimental test. They asked 122 undergraduate students to rate the Cᴜᴛᴇness oF babies. The research Findings were that the Cᴜᴛᴇr the students Found the baby, the more they wanted to care For them.

Human babies need more care than the babies oF other species. Babies take a year or more to learn to walk whereas the oFFsprings oF other species start walking in a matter oF just a Few hours or days. Human babies also need their mother’s milk For up to two years oF their liFe as opposed to kittens who only need to be weaned only For the First month.

According to a review oF the scientiFic literature in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences says that not only ᴍᴇɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴏᴍᴇɴ ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ᴇꜰꜰᴏʀᴛs to look at Cᴜᴛᴇ inFant Faces longer but also preFerred to give toys to Cᴜᴛᴇr Faces as opposed to relatively less Cᴜᴛᴇr ones.

Cᴜᴛᴇness compels us to think diFFerently

A Fair amount oF research suggests that our bodies respond to Cᴜᴛᴇness with certain amounts oF physiological changes. A review conducted in 2016 tried to understand how our brains respond to not just physical Cᴜᴛᴇness but also Cᴜᴛᴇ voices and sounds oF babies. It has also been observed that Cᴜᴛᴇness can drive more empathy and sensibilities in human adults.

This topic is quite deep, and still, there is research going on in it. There is some research that proves that not everyone Finds babies Cᴜᴛᴇ or reacts to babies the way most do. But there is not enough evidence to support this claim. Till then, let’s assume that when we Find babies Cᴜᴛᴇ or invariably smile on seeing an adorable child, it is because we are naturally hardwired to respond in such a manner.


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