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Can we learn from the proximate candy jar?

Science tackles candy nibbling: clear containers close by get patronized more often than opaque containers a bit further away.

Secretaries ate an average of 7.7 kisses each day when the candies were in clear containers on their desks; 4.6 when in opaque jars on the desk; 5.6 when in clear jars 6 feet away; and 3.1 when in opaque jars 6 feet away...

"Here's the golden lining: If we move food away from us, even 6 feet, we eat less and we overestimate how much we have eaten," the researchers concluded. "It may also work for healthier foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables. What makes the candy dish nutritionally dangerous might bring the fruit bowl back in vogue."

Sure, no duh, right? Put candy out and people eat it. Big whup. Well, maybe. But try processing this from a slightly different angle.

I'm no white-coat researcher, but I wonder if this partially confirms what a lot of us have suspected all along--that the things we put into our sight line and within our easy reach get the highest attention, interest, and usage (cf. sticky notes, photos, and labeler in my case).

While we can and do go "blind" to anything after repeated exposures, I like that I might be able to use this "candy jar" principal (inversely) to try and build a good habit or just keep something important on my radar screen.

Like my friend Maggie says, you are what you frequently do; and, I suspect, you internalize what you frequently view. (Especially if it's candy.)

[ via Boing Boing/Pesco ]

Ashley Whitney's picture

I really wish you posted...

I really wish you posted this yesterday! :) I JUST put a candy dish on my desk for the first time ever. Yes it's clear and yes it's within 6 feet.... which probably explains why I've gone through half a LARGE bag of m&m's in less than 24 hours!!

note to self - get a bigger office so I can put it 6 ft away ... because just NOT putting candy in the bowl would be far to easy!




An Oblique Strategy:
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