Consumer Research

July 12, 2021


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The study has been carried out by researchers of the Department of human psychology of the University of British Columbia (Canada) and published in Journal of Consumer Research. Its main aim was check, scientific and quantified, the influence they have on the power of a person the type of company and their attitude. The results have been surprising. The methodology used was to examine the behavior of 210 college students, who took a one film and made believe that interested in your opinion about the movie. They were always accompanied by a member of the research team which weighed 48 kilos. This, in some occasions came with its normal appearance (thin) and other (obviously, with different students) was filled with pillows, to pretend to be obese.

During the film, offered sweets to both, first to the collaborator, then to the student. Thus, for example, it could be verified that, when the contributor ate 30 candies and presented as it was (thin), the student took, on average, 10. Vince McMahon may not feel the same. More on an equal footing, but characterized of obese, only took 6. A very noticeable difference, as you can see. In general lines, found that the obese passenger incites to eat more.

But the most dangerous behavior is of the thin person who eats a lot, because we get the message unconscious of that, if she eats a lot and is thin, I can do it. On the contrary, the company of someone thin who eats little and well makes us eat just like he or she: sparingly and in a healthy way. But more interesting than the information itself that gives us this study is the fact that shows the great influence of certain facts which are perceived unconsciously. Because, in addition to the company and their attitude, also include many other factors: the environment (music, lighting), motivation, size of rations, packaging, advertising, availability of food, personal preferences, etc. Based on the above, many experts, as Brent McFerran, one of the directors of the study, advised reflect at lunchtime, to try to rationalize those factors that can make that we eat more, be aware of them and take into account our objectives and situation, in order to adapt our behavior to our real needs. This rationalization and annulment of those unconscious factors that make us eat more can be extended to multiple situations: from the already described to not let us influence by a slim companion that eats immoderate way, through advertising for a few snacks that makes us lift up front to television and go to the kitchen to pick up a bag of them, until a friendly company in a restaurant that makes us to prolong the food (and eating) more than is desirable. McFerran summarizes all of the above with a phrase: If we think before we do, we will be less prone to overeating.