Is it the same as 看看 or 看一看？
- 打开盒子看，里面是一只小猫 (open the box and look, it is a kitten inside)
看 here is a simple verb 'to see'
- 打开盒子看看，里面是一只小猫 (open the box and briefly (or casually) look, it is a kitten inside)
看看 here is a reduplication of verb ; reduplication verb imply the verb is occurring in a brief time period, in a slight degree or in a casual manner.
- 打开盒子看一看，里面是一只小猫 (open the box and looked once, it is a kitten inside)
看一看 (look one look = look one time = looked once) is [verb + counting word + verb classifier]; the same structure can be applied to other verbs, e.g. 打一打 (hit one hit = hit one time = hit once); you can replace '一' with different counting words like '看幾看' (look few looks = look few times)
- 打开盒子一看，里面是一只小猫 (open the box and quickly look, it is a kitten inside)
一看 here is [adverb (一) + verb (看)] ; '一' as an adverb means 'once, abruptly, quickly or briefly'
Example of '一' as an adverb:
他心中一怒 (not 他心中怒一怒) means "he abruptly get angry inside"
曹操一听大怒 (not 曹操听一听大怒) means "once Cao Cao heard it, he got very angry"
我一想不錯 (not 我想一想不錯) means "once I think about it, I know it is correct"
他终于能一展抱负 (not 他终于能展一展抱负) means "he finally can extend his ambition for once" or "he finally can extend his ambition abruptly"
他一改风格 (not 他改一改风格) means 'He abruptly changes style' or 'He changes style for once')
一看 simply means 看了一下，so it could also be
There are other similar uses like
我给他一说，他就同意了 / 我给他说了说，他就同意了
他一来，事情就解决了 / 他来了一下，事情就解决了
一看 here means "looked at it" in a generally cursory manner such that whatever was being observed was obvious and did not require some deep searching. The use of "一" (one) here is meant to suggest that you only had to "look at it once" to figure something out. As zyy points out, there are other places where this "一" appears and they all serve the same purpose - that something could be done in one go (without too much additional effort).
Edit: For example:
With one glance, I could tell you are a soccer player.
He had to look at me for a while before he discovered I had cut my hair.
In my opinion, 一看 denotes this sense: （用在动词或动量词前面， 表示先做某个动作， 下文说明动作结果）. For example, 一看就明白了， meaning you see it first and then you understand it or you understand it right after/(the minute) you see it.
打开盒子一看，里面是一只小猫 means you open the box and have a look, and then spot a kitty within. or You spot a kitty right after(/when) you open the box.
看一看 doesn't have that connotation.