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Fast Food Psychology: Scientists Identify "Behavioral Priming" Effect

Fast Food Psychology

First Posted: 06/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:10 PM ET

Times Online:

Scientists at Toronto University in Canada say that symbols of fast food can incite individuals to become impatient, squander money, and crave instant gratification. From theTimes of London:

Participants in experiments became jittery even when shown the logo of the McDonald's burger chain on screen for such a short instant that they could not recognise it.


Although each individual sighting of a logo has only a short-term subliminal effect, researchers fear that walking daily past numerous burger bars and sandwich shops could have a cumulative "behavioural priming" effect, making people hurry whether or not they are pushed for time.

We're finding that the mere exposure to fast food is promoting a general sense of haste and impatience regardless of the context."

For more details on the study, read the Times of London story here.

Read the whole story: Times Online

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Filed by Colin Sterling  |