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Is cuteness in the eye of the beholder?

In News
May 28th, 2014

We discover the secret to cuteness

Today we have unveiled a scientific formula that for the first time ever defines precisely which human characteristics make a person ‘cute’.

Working with Professor David Perrett of St Andrew’s University School of Psychology and Neuroscience, we are now able to answer to one of life’s most intriguing questions: what characteristics make a person cute?

The report, commissioned to mark the launch of our brand new cute  greetings card range, Little Meow, reveals that a person’s cuteness can be assessed using the following formula:


When this formula is applied to images of both men and women, those facial features perceived as ‘cute’ in infants also contribute to cuteness in adult faces, such as chubby cheeks and a button nose. Experiments we conducted with the university also revealed that a subtle manipulation in face shape (a 20 per cent application of the cute formula) was all that was needed to maximise cuteness in an adult face. These subtle adaptations do not change adults into infants but instead involve the induction of features reminiscent of a younger appearance.  

David Perrett, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at University of St Andrews and our very own Professor of Cute said: “Cuteness can evoke both emotions of pleasure and care in humans, so we were keen to discover exactly what makes a person cute. By conducting the first comprehensive  scientific study of “cuteness”, that is, an exhaustive investigation into what is the ideal combination of features required to make a face ‘cute’ we were able to devise a precise formula for facial cuteness.”

Inspired by the development of the “cuteness formula”, we are also launching a search for the nation’s cutest cat, Little Meow’s Cutest Kitty, with kitty owners across the UK being invited to enter their feline friend in the competition for this most coveted accolade. The special “cuteness formula” will be part of the judging criteria, with the search beginning on Tuesday 6th May and will close at 5pm on Friday 30th May; entries can be made through the Hallmark UK Facebook page.

The cutest kitty will be decided by a panel of expert judges, including Little Meow creator, Rachel Goodman, Director of Yorkshire Cat Rescue, Sara Atkinson and Jacqueline Brown, Editor of Progressive Greetings Worldwide and will receive a VIP treatment at the Pet Spa in London and a full range of our exclusive Little Meow greetings cards.

Rachel Goodman said: “Our Little Meow card range was developed following extensive consumer insights to appeal to not only the millions of cat lovers across the UK but also to those looking for a sweet injection of cuteness in their lives. The cute research findings extend our knowledge of cuteness even further and will certain help us when selecting Little Meow’s Cutest Kitty. We’re really looking forward to seeing which feline can rival Little M

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