“That junk food is gonna get right up in yer head and rot there, by gum!” spat the old timer from Culinate.com. “Jest you mark my words, kiddie. It’ll start takin’ over yer mind afore you know what’s happenin’!”:
In the first experiment of the three-part study, half of the participants were shown subliminal images of six fast-food chains (McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy’s). The images were seen only twice, for just 12 milliseconds — much faster than the conscious mind can recognize. Participants who were exposed to these subliminal images rushed through tasks even though they were under no time pressure.
Wonder why eco-friendly, well-made products aren’t top sellers? In the next experiment, participants were asked to recall a recent fast-food meal before rating products. When they did so, they were more likely to choose time-saving as the best rationale for making a purchase over other factors, such as environmental friendliness, aesthetics, or quality.
Wonder what happened to saving money? In the final experiment, participants who briefly looked at fast-food logos were much more likely, when considering compound interest, to choose a small payout immediately rather than wait for a larger payout later.
More on the three-part study in this University of Toronto report (pdf).