For a long time, people are obsessed with shiny objects, from shoes with studs to the recent iPhone gold. Now, however, scientists have approached the subject and they think that they can explain the phenomenon.
Scientists have analyzed this behavior through six studies, the findings suggest that the attraction has to do with water.
“People are attracted to shiny objects. However, investigations carried out in order to analyze what makes people prefer such items or if it is a systematic bias, have received very little attention”, explained the researchers.
In one test, both adults and children were exposed to advertisements printed on both glossy and matte paper. Results indicated that individuals have always preferred advertisements printed on glossy paper.
Through this experiment, in which they have involved children, 4 years of age (too young to appreciate the link between the financial condition and shiny things), scientists have demonstrated a preference for shiny things is a natural reaction and not an association acquired by wealth.
In another phase of the study, scientists blindfolded 46 participants who were given a piece of paper. Half of them received a glossy while the rest received matte paper. Even without looking at the paper, participants who received glossy paper noted that it had a superior quality compared to those who had matte paper.
Also, when subjects were asked to imagine what could be represented on paper that they received, those who held the hands-on glossy paper stated that imagines a landscape with water, which emphasizes a link between water and shiny objects.
Subsequently, in another test they were not blindfolded, participants have noted that aquatic images are printed on glossier paper than the ones depicting the desert, although in reality the images were printed on the same paper.
Finally, scientists chose 126 participants who were divided into three groups: a group in which participants ate biscuits and then were given water, a group in which subjects ate biscuits but didn’t receive water and a third a control group. Then, all participants were asked to analyze eight images of which half were on glossy paper and the other half on plain paper. All volunteers preferred the glossy pictures, but most individuals who have appreciated are the ones who were thirsty.
Following these findings, the researchers note in the Journal of Consumer Psychology that our instinct is bound to water and that could explain the human attraction to shiny objects.
“First and foremost, our work has shown that preference for shiny objects may have deep roots in every human. Despite the sophistication progress, we have made as a species, we are still attracted to things that serve our innate needs such as water“, noted study co-author, Vanessa M. Patrick of the University of Houston.
Source: Daily Mail