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ID 33096
file
title alternative
Categorization of "kawaii" by the level of infantility <Articles>
creator
Ihara, Namiha
subject
kawaii
cuteness
baby schema
infantility
feminine culture
NDC
Psychology
abstract
"Kawaii" is a Japanese word that is translated as cute in English. This word becomes popular worldwide and is regarded as a key concept characterizing modern Japanese culture. However, the word is used so widely in daily life that it is difficult to define what is kawaii and what makes things kawaii. Ethologists have suggested that baby schema, a set of physical features of baby animals, is a key stimulus to elicit the feeling of cuteness. In this study, we examined the relationship between the feeling of cuteness and the infantility of various objects in a survey of 166 university students. First, we collected 93 animate and inanimate objects that are sometimes described as kawaii. Half of the raters (n = 84) made the cuteness ratings of the 93 items (either words or short phrases), while the other half (n = 82) made the infantility ratings of these items. Consistent with the baby schema hypothesis, the ratings of cuteness and infantility were moderately correlated (rs = .50 and .45 for men and women, respectively). However, there was a cluster of items that were rated as cute but not infant (e.g., smile, accessories, and pastel color), which are probably related to feminine culture. Moreover, women rated various items to be cuter than men did, while no gender difference was found for the infantility rating. The findings suggest that, although the feeling of kawaii is elicited by baby schema and infantility, its scope is not limited to them.
journal title
Bulletin of the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. I, Studies in human sciences
volume
Volume 6
start page
13
end page
17
date of issued
2011-12-31
publisher
広島大学大学院総合科学研究科
issn
1881-7688
ncid
SelfDOI
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
rights
Copyright (c) 2011 by Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University All rights reserved
department
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences
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