When you look at a face with bright wide eyes, rosy cheeks and a tiny mouth, will you couldn’t help but feel affection? Have you ever doubted if such adorable face is a hook?
In the mid-20th century, an Austrian zoologist, Konrad Lorenz, proposed that evolution has created cute babies so that their parents will take more care of them. Recently, Daniel Kruger, a social psychologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, was curious about whether Lorenz’s proposal also applies to other kind of animals, according to Discover Magazine.
In an experiment, he chose six bird species to study. Three of them had self-sufficient hatchlings that didn’t need any care from their parents. The other three had young that stayed near their parents and needed to be fed. Then he showed pictures of them to 172 college students. As Kruger had predicted, subjects rated animals that need parental care are cuter than the animals that don’t.
Though this doesn’t prove that Lorenz’s proposal applies throughout the animal kingdom, Kruger calls his experiment a “strong test” of Lorenz’s idea. “This might just be the beginning of an entire research program,” Kruger says.