The Null Device
Cookies can cause compulsive consumption
A study in Singapore has shown that the sight or smell of appetising food can compel people to make impulse purchases
, or else compromise their ability to judge risks and payoffs:
Similarly, another experiment used a cookie-scented candle to further gauge whether appetitive stimulus affects consumer behavior. Female study participants in a room with a hidden chocolate-chip cookie scented candle were much more likely to make an unplanned purchase of a new sweater -- even when told they were on a tight budget -- than those randomly assigned to a room with a hidden unscented candle (67 percent vs. 17 percent).
The researchers make the further claim that "the presence of an attractive woman in the trading room might propel an investor to choose the investment option providing smaller but sooner rewards".
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