IF YOU DO ONE THING THIS MONTH...
Smiling sweetly in the face of blatant queue-jumping; carrying the bags for life of your elders – there’s a reason you’re your best self at the supermarket. While the age-old tactic of pumping out the aroma of a freshly baked loaf is designed to make you spend more (who can resist a fresh-from-the-oven bagel?), it turns out it could also be making you kinder. That’s according to a study published in
The Journal Of Social Psychology. In a bid to establish a link between pleasant aromas and increased altruism, researchers from the University of Southern Brittany tracked the responses of strangers when a volunteer ‘accidentally’ dropped something. While 52% of people stopped to help retrieve the item outside a clothing shop, this soared to 77% when the same experiment was conducted outside a bakery. Why? The first stop for incoming smell signals is the olfactory bulb, which has direct connections to the emotional centre of the brain – hence why scent can be such a powerful moodbooster. And a happier you = a nicer you. That’s one way to separate the wheat from the chaff.