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Why Shiny Things Distract Us

Hemera

Do you get distracted by shinny things? Do you find yourself mid-conversation drifting off to stare at a car driving by or someone’s jewelry?

No, you don’t have A.D.D. and you’re not a neanderthal, but the route of your interest does come from early human needs.

Research in the latest issue of Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that the attraction to shiny things is our instinct for water. Yes, water.

It is humbling to acknowledge that despite our sophistication and progress as a species, we are still drawn to things that serve our innate needs–in this case, the need for water. - Vanessa M. Patrick, University of Houston.

How exactly did they come up with conclusion? Several different test were done but one of them featured the researchers breaking 126 participants in to three groups to look at photos. Before viewing; Group 1 ate crackers without water, Group 2 ate crackers with water, and Group 3 didn’t have either.  Each group looked at regular matted and glossy photos. All three like the glossy over regular matted. It should be noted though; the thirstier the participants got the more they liked the glossy photos. So the greater the need or desire for water, the greater their fondness for ‘shinny things’ increased.

It might not make all the sense in the world but at least you now know you are just some dimwitted person who is easily distracted like a cat with a string.

Read more on the study HERE

 

[Fast Company Design]

 

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