Food with symbolic character: Burger & Co.
Reading aloud Anyone who eats fast food often wants to save time. Obviously, however, the logos of the fast-food providers are evoking the memories of rush and hurry and thus trigger impatience in the subconscious? even if we actually have enough time. That's what a Canadian research duo found out from experiments. The results showed that fast food also influences our daily behavior and is not just an often unhealthy diet, according to Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto. Fast food is a diet of the modern age? characterized by the need to save time and effort. It could also change our psyche and behavior, Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford DeVoe suspect. In a first experiment, study participants saw fast food symbols on a screen for milliseconds, but without being able to consciously perceive them in the short time. The subsequent reading task they performed at a significantly higher speed than a control group, in which only black rectangles had appeared on the screen. The second experiment examined the preference for time-saving products such as a hair and body shower gel. After the subjects had remembered a stay in a fast food restaurant, they increasingly selected the time-saving products? another indication that fast food causes impatience or a sense of time pressure.

Finally, the last experiment examined the connection between fast food and saving money: if someone saves money, he does nothing else but to forego an immediate satisfaction of their needs in return for a higher subsequent profit. That requires patience. In the experiment, the subjects had to look at different logos, including those from fast food chains, which were missing in a control group. Once again, the people confronted with fast food showed some impatience on the next question: they preferred to pay a smaller amount for later payments of a higher amount.

Obviously, the feeling of time pressure or impatience can emerge even if it is completely nonsensical. "The problem is that the sense of saving time is automatically triggered by the subconscious when faced with fast food? even if there is no reason for it and we are just going for a walk in the park, "explains Chen-Bo Zhong.

Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford DeVoe (University of Toronto): Psychological Science, Vol. 21, March 2010, p. 311, doi: 10.1177 / 0956797609360754 ddp / Thomas Neuenschwander advertisement


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