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Research Shows Scent of Baked Goods Boosts Kindness

Written by Jennifer Dublino, on November 2nd, 2012

A recent study by scientists at the University of Southern Brittany has found that when people smell baked goods, they are more kind towards others.

They had four volunteers stand outside a bakery and four stand outside of a clothing store. The volunteers waited for shoppers to pass by and then seemingly accidentally dropped small items like tissues or gloves.

They found that 77% of the items were spontaneously picked up outside the bakery, compared to only 52% outside the clothing store. The conclusion – the presence of pleasant ambient odors positively affects altruistic behavior.

This latest study confirms another one that was done in a mall environment. Researchers found that people were more likely to help a stranger by picking up an item or providing change for a dollar when in the presence of pleasant odors like roasting coffee or baking cookies.

Bake sale, anyone?

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