ABOUT A DECADE AGO, FOUR PROFESSORS FROM FRANCE AND BELGIUM put bowls of plain and crispy M&Ms in front of volunteers and asked them which tasted better. It was a trick. The researchers didn’t care which kind of M&Ms were better.
The taste test was a ruse to see how much candy the volunteers would eat after the experimenters got them thinking about money. Before the subjects got the candy, half of them had been asked to fantasize about what they would buy if they won 25,000 euros in a lottery. The other half were asked to think about what they would buy if they won only 25 euros. The people who envisioned lot of money ate more M&Ms.
Money is like food, the professors concluded.1
Five years later, another ...