No wonder bakers always seem like such friendly people, according to a new study the smell of freshly baked bread can actually make people be nicer to strangers.
The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Social Psychology, looked into the idea that aromas can inspire better moods to see if they could also inspire people to do good deeds.
To conduct their investigation, researchers from the University of Southern Brittany in France had volunteers stationed in front of bakeries and clothing stores. The volunteer would step in front of a passerby and pretend to accidentally drop an item like a glove, handkerchief, or packet of tissues.
According to The Huffington Post, 77 percent of strangers in front of the bakery stopped to give the dropped item back to its owner. In front of the clothing boutique, only 52 percent of people stopped to help.
“In general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread,” the study summarized. “This experiment confirms the role of ambient food odors on altruism.”
A bread-scented perfume suddenly seems like a good way to get strangers to be nicer to a person. Check out some of our best bread recipes to get the altruism effect the old-fashioned way.