BUSINESS

'The Office' Experiment Proves Workplace Injustice Makes Your Lunch Taste Funny

05/16/2013 12:38 pm ET
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Ever noticed that your lunch tastes a little funny after the boss treats you unfairly? No? Well science says it's true.

Yes, somehow, experiencing injustice at work can actually sharpen your sense of taste, according to a study released this month from the University Of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. The research, conducted by professor Daniel Skarlicki, may prove that stress actually has a physiological effect on people.

"Our perception of the world is altered by stress – and we show how significant the mistreatment of our fellow humans impacts us,” Skarlicki said in a press release.

In an experiment for the study, participants who watched a clip portraying unfair workplace treatment from the UK version of "The Office" -- science! -- found their food's taste to be 10 percent stronger than those who did not watch the clip.

The study also asked some participants to think about a time they were treated unfairly at work; others thought about a time they were treated fairly. The participants who thought about workplace injustice rated their taste as 10 percent stronger than those who did not.

Skarlicki's paper explains that "violations of dignity and respect" may actually trigger a human alarm system meant to warn people of future threats. In turn, that alarm system heightens awareness and one's sense of taste, giving that overpriced lunch salad the extra zing you desire.

Want to try the experiment out yourself? Watch this clip from "The Office" and see how your food tastes later today:

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