The more M&Ms we’re offered, the more we eat, even when no one’s watching
A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania has shown how influenced we are by something called “unit bias” or the perception of how much is considered to be “one serve”using M&Ms.
In the M&M experiment, the researcher, Andrew Geier offered a large mixing bowl of M&Ms at the front desk of the concierge of an apartment building. Below the bowl hung a sign that read “Eat Your Fill” with “please use the spoon to serve yourself” written underneath. He put the bowl out for 10 consecutive days and varied the size of the bowl and the size of the serving spoon
If presented with a small spoon, most passersby would take a single scoop, even though the sign encouraged them to take more. If given a much larger spoon, the subjects would still take a single scoop, even though that one scoop contained many more M&Ms. The subjects were inadvertently eating twice as much chocolate when the larger scoop happened to be in the bowl.
Got any examples of your own?