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
Max power: Nine ways to make your everyday meals more flavourful
Amputee drummer gains 'superhuman' skills with robotic arm
Livr: A social network only for drunk people
Fenwicks department store withdraws Boy London clothing over 'Nazi' eagle logo complaints
International Women's Day 2014: Google makes 80 second video of inspirational women from across the world for animated Doodle
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
iJobs Food & Drink
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 - £18000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a high-end niche t...
£20000 - £40000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits: Flight Centre Business Tra...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Increases in tourism, the introduction of new...