Does Fast Food Alter Our Behavior?

Does Fast Food Alter Our Behavior?

From a recent series of experiments, researchers suggested that fast food changes the way we think and behave.

Naresh Kumar
  • 23 march 2010

A series of experiments were conducted by Chen-Bo Zhong and Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto to understand the effects of fast food on people’s thinking. The researchers suggested that subliminal exposure to fast food brands logos can trigger impatient and hasty behavior in people.

ScienceBlogs elaborates on the first experiment:

Zhong and DeVoe asked 57 students to stare at the centre of a computer screen while ignoring a stream of objects flashing past in the corners. For some of the students, these flashes included the logos of McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King and Wendy’s, all appearing for just 12 milliseconds.

The students were then asked to read out a 320-word description of Toronto and those who had subconsciously seen the fast food logos were faster. Even though they had no time limit, they whizzed through the text in just 70 seconds. The other students, who were shown blocks of colors in place of the logos, took a more leisurely 84 seconds.

Through a few other experiments, the researchers also deduced that the mere thought of fast food can make people more inclined towards time saving products and making financial decisions which have immediate gains over future returns.

ScienceBlogs: “Fast food logos unconsciously trigger fast behaviour”

image by sama sama – massa


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