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Cross-Cultural Comparisons of the Cute and Related Concepts in Japan, the United States, and Israel
  • Hiroshi Nittono,
  • Shiri Lieber Milo,
  • Joshua Dale
Hiroshi Nittono
Osaka University

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Shiri Lieber Milo
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Joshua Dale
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An online survey was conducted to clarify the semantic image of the cute and attitudes toward cuteness in three countries: Japan, the United States, and Israel (total N = 2,155). The results show a remarkable resemblance in respondents’ conceptions of the cute (kawaii in Japanese and hamud in Hebrew) across countries. Several common tendencies were found: (1) Cuteness is highly appreciated and believed to induce positive affective responses, (2) women tend to find things cute more frequently and strongly than men do, (3) animal babies are thought to be cuter than human babies, and (4) infants are found to be cuter when people get older, while older people generally show less positive attitudes toward cuteness. This study demonstrates that the concept of cuteness and the feelings connected to its perception are universal.