Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/16/truffles_make_you_want_macs/

Profs: Eating Belgian truffles will make you buy a Mac

Homemade meringues = Linux, presumably*

By Lewis Page

Posted in Science, 16th December 2008 10:49 GMT

In a development whose majorness would be hard to overemphasise, research by topflight eggheads has revealed that eating just one Belgian truffle could turn you into a Mac fanboy, or indeed girl.

The news comes to us from the periodical read by all corporate spammers who are serious about their profession, The Journal of Consumer Research, publishing the results of an in-depth analysis by selling-people-stuff profs Juliano Laran (University of Miami) and Chris Janiszewski (University of Florida).

The two salesman-academics ran a study which involved giving one group of people a chocolate truffle, and asking another group to be strong and abstain. It appears that scoffing just one fancy choc, according to the profs, tends to unleash a "what the hell" syndrome. The truffle-gobblers then feel a strong desire for more treats - for instance ice cream, pizza, and potato chips - while the puritanical group found it easy to spurn any further delicious but possibly nutritionally unwise offerings.

If that was all, frankly we wouldn't have bothered you. But it's not.

"A second study again had people eat or resist a chocolate truffle and asked them to indicate how much they desired several products that are symbols of status [for example] an Apple computer... People who ate the truffle desired the status products significantly more than those who had to resist the truffle," write Laran and Janiszewski.

There you have it. Eating overpriced chocs which come in a pretty, wantable box will lead to the purchase of... well, you get the idea.

"Our research shows that small acts may lead people to unconsciously seek more indulgence," the authors conclude.

Their paper is called Behavioral Consistency and Inconsistency in the Resolution of Goal Conflict, and will be published in the April '09 edition of the The Journal of Consumer Research. ®

Bootnote

*Requires some skill to achieve at home; tends to make the achiever incomprehensibly smug. The natural Windows types would, by extension, tend to favour mainstream, occasionally faulty but accessible treats (doughnuts, perhaps) lying between the intuitive, gorgeous truffle and recondite delicacies fashioned from commonly available basic ingredients and open-source knowledge. Insert your alternative OS-as-confectionery analogies here.