Authors: Nittono, H., & Ihara, N.

Title: Psychophysiological responses to kawaii pictures with or without baby schema (ベビースキーマを含むかわいい写真と含まないかわいい写真に対する心理生理反応)

Journal(書誌情報): SAGE Open, 7(2), 1-11. 

doi: 10.1177/2158244017709321


Abstract: Baby schema has been considered a key stimulus that triggers feelings and thoughts of cuteness. Kawaii is a Japanese word that roughly translates to cute in English, but its meaning appears to be broader than cute. Specifically, cuteness is often regarded as synonymous with infant physical attractiveness, whereas kawaii is used not only for babies but also for noninfantile objects. In this study, psychophysiological responses were compared between two types of kawaii pictures: human babies and animals (kawaii with baby schema) or objects such as desserts and dress accessories (kawaii without baby schema). Twenty female university students were asked to view various pictures twice. Both types of kawaii pictures were rated to be more pleasant than neutral pictures, elicited a greater activation of the zygomaticus major muscles associated with smiling, and were viewed for a longer period when the same pictures were presented again. The effect of baby schema appeared in the zygomaticus major muscle activity, which was greater for pictures with baby schema. The findings suggest that the word kawaii expresses positive feelings that are more generic than infant attractiveness and that are associated with a motivation to approach a preferable object.

著者Contact先の email: nittono[at] (入戸野 宏)

日本語によるコメント: cutenessに関する海外の研究では,赤ちゃんの顔などベビースキーマに関連する刺激を扱っています。しかし,日本語の「かわいい」は,ファッションやお菓子など,赤ちゃん以外のカテゴリに対しても使われます。今回の研究では,「かわいい」の得点をそろえた上で,ベビースキーマを含むかわいい写真と含まないかわいい写真に対する主観的印象・表情筋筋電図・皮膚コンダクタンス反応・注視時間を比較しました。その結果,どちらのかわいいい写真も「接近したい」と評定され,長い時間見つめられました。他方,ベビースキーマを含む写真の方が笑顔を作る大頬骨筋の活動が大きいことが分かりました。日本語の「かわいい」の意味はcutenessよりも広く,望ましい対象に近づきたいという接近動機づけに関連しているといえそうです。