The Science Behind Cute Aggression: Why Cute Things Are So Squeezable

Have you ever felt the urge to squeeze, bite or pinch something cute?

Apparently, there’s a scientific explanation behind these feelings: the science of cute aggression.

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

A TED-Ed lesson written by Joshua Paul Dale and directed by Oksana Kurmaz does a deep-dive on the topic, and it’s quite interesting to learn more.

In the video, narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott explains:

“Watching a kitten fumbling around, it might feel as if you’ve never encountered anything so devastatingly adorable in your mortal life. You may want to pet its soft fur and kiss its tiny head. But you may also feel the conflicting urge… to squeeze or smush the kitten, maybe even stuff it in your mouth.”

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

While it’s rare for people to act on urges to hurt the cute thing (like to smush the kitten), it seems the desire is there as a coping mechanism.

Jack went on to say that cute aggression isn’t linked to actual harm, but rather, it results from emotional overload. He explained, “Some scientists think that cute things elicit such positive emotions from certain people that the experience becomes overwhelming. They hypothesize that slightly aggressive, discordant thoughts are the brain’s way of putting the brakes on and regulating those intense feelings— not getting you to actually eat a kitten.”

Photo: Cats Coming

He added that not only can cuteness come off as a “frivolous, innocent quality, but it wields immense, consequential power.”

You can learn more in the video below:

Have you ever felt cute aggression before? Let us know!

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