Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Name Game

A Cornell University study shows that simply giving vegetables a cooler name could encourage kids to eat more of them. 186 preschoolers were given regular carrots on some lunch days and "X-ray vision carrots" on others. Either way, they were just carrots, but the kids ate nearly twice as many when they thought the vegetables would give them privacy-violating superpowers. Afterward, they still ate 50% more carrots even on the days they weren't given a ridiculous name. While this research might be a boon to officials trying to get school children to eat healthier (and to whatever comic book nerd copywriter who gets to come up with the new menus), I find it more than a little terrifying. What else might we trick our children into doing using only the brainwashing power of desirable words? Sure, today we're giving them brontosaurus broccoli and krazy kool collard greens, but what's to stop evil elementary school principals from turning these kids into his own private army with the promise of a little mega mindblowing murder? More details here.

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