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Why is everyone in love with Baby Yoda?

According to Dr. Katherine Stavropoulos, neuroscience and behavioral data can help explain the Baby Yoda craze.
By Julie Porter |

You may have noticed the Baby Yoda craze taking over your social media feeds, and pop culture, over the past few weeks. Why is it that we just can't get enough of this incredibly adorable creature? Based on her previous research on "Cute Aggression," Assistant Professor Katherine Stavropoulos provides some neuroscientific basis for our collective obsession.
 

Katherine Stavropoulos
Katherine K.M. Stavropoulos, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at UC Riverside, a licensed clinical psychologist, and the Principle Investigator of the Social Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience Lab.


In a recent article she wrote for Psychology Today entitled "Why is everyone in love with Baby Yoda," she explains: "In short, cute aggression is a term for the paradoxical urge some of us have to squeeze, bite, or pinch very cute things, albeit without the desire to cause harm. Our research found that people who report feeling cute aggression when looking at pictures of baby animals had more reward-related brain activity than those who felt less cute aggression. That suggests the reward system in our brains is likely involved in both our love for Baby Yoda and why some of us report wanting to eat/squeeze/bite him." 

Read some of the entertaining, and informative, interviews with Stavropoulos about Baby Yoda and cute aggression in the following media articles below:
Inverse, "Science Explains: This is why you're willing to "die for" Baby Yoda"
Yahoo, "The scientific reason why we're so obsessed with Baby Yoda"
Delish, "Why do I want to eat Baby Yoda"
Mother Jones, "I want to punch Baby Yoda and science backs me up"