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Do you have the urge to punch Baby Yoda? You might have "cute aggression"!

  • Having never watched The Mandalorian, Abigail Weinberg said she had the urge to punch Baby Yoda everything the Star Wars character's meme popped up on social media. "But when I watched The Mandalorian, I found nothing to hate in Baby Yoda," says Weinberg. "I had to concede that it was kind of cute. Still, I felt a shock of satisfaction when a scout trooper in the final episode enacted my desires and punched the little thing. What was going on? I finally googled—I kid you not—'want to kill cute things.' To my relief, I happened upon a phenomenon that explained my feelings: cute aggression, a flash of aggressive thoughts in response to overwhelmingly cute stimuli. It’s the same feeling you might get when you see a cute baby and want to pinch its cheeks, or when a puppy is so cute you want to squeeze it. When I called Oriana Aragón, one of the researchers who first named the phenomenon at Yale, she said she knew that calls about Baby Yoda would start rolling in sooner or later. Baby Yoda, she says, embodies the features we perceive as cute: big eyes, small nose and mouth, and a small body in relation to the head." Aragón says: “The more exaggerated those features are, the more people respond with this. They make an appraisal, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s really cute,’ and then comes this next sort of behavioral response of wanting to squeeze or pinch or bite.”

    TOPICS: Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Disney+