Baby Giant Panda Debuts in D.C.: Why Do We Find It So Cute?
Soft, big-eyed creatures resemble human babies, psychologist says.
Stop the panda presses—Bao Bao the baby giant panda will make her public debut at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on January 18.
If the addictive Panda Cam is any indication, plenty of animal lovers will line up this weekend to see the black-and-white ball of fur up close. Which brings up the question: Why do we like cute baby animals so much? (Also see "Is Breeding Pandas in Captivity Worth It?")
The leading theory is simple: Their features remind us of human babies, said Simon Rego, director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, in a phone interview.
It turns out that the animals we find cute have characteristics