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Aroma Of Freshly-Baked Bread Inspires Selflessness, Study Finds

November 3, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in France have found that the sweet smell of bread baking triggers a positive mood and leads to more altruistic deeds toward strangers. The study looked at behaviors of people who walked past a clothing boutique and a bakery, finding that shoppers near the bakery were more likely to alert passersby -- actually study volunteers -- that they had dropped something. The experiments, which were repeated about 400 times, found that when the volunteers dropped items outside the bakery with its aroma of freshly-baked bread, 77 percent of strangers stopped to help recover a “lost” item and hand it back to the owner. Outside the clothing store, however, only 52 percent of strangers helped.
"The One Smell That Will Make You A Kinder Person (Hint: It’s Delicious)", WestPenn Journal, November 03, 2012, © WestPenn Journal
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