How the smell of freshly-baked bread makes us kinder to strangers
Its ability to sell a house has long been an old wives’ tale, now scientists believe the smell of freshly baked bread makes people kinder to strangers.
Researchers have found that people would be more likely to help passers-by if the aroma was in their nostrils.
The scientists from the University of Southern Brittany in France wanted to test the long-held view that smells can influence our behaviour.
They recruited eight volunteers and asked half to stand outside a bakery and half to stand outside a clothes shop. The participants rummaged in their bags, before dropping a glove, handkerchief or packet of tissues in front of a stranger. The researchers, observing from around 60ft away, found that 77 per cent stopped to help recover the lost items where the smell of fresh bread was strong, while only 52 per cent did so outside the clothes shop.
They said that their results, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, “show that, in general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread,’ they said. This experiment confirms the role of ambient food odours on altruism”.
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Why has a disease that's only ever killed 2,000 people captivated the darkest side of our imagination?
Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
National Orgasm Day: Don't get caught up on climaxing
Watch: Vogue Italia's plus-size models in fetish-inspired lingerie shoot
Ebola: UK is ready to deal with outbreak, says Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Food & Drink
£23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...