Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

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.

But­ter fin­gers

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