Thoughts of Fast Food Hinder Your Ability to Derive Happiness from Small Pleasures

Research participants who had seen a picture of a fast-food burger and fries subsequently rated themselves less happy upon viewing 10 photographs of natural scenic beauty (4.86, on average, versus 5.45 on a seven-point scale), say Julian House and two colleagues from the University of Toronto. Exposure to the idea of “fast food” makes people more impatient and impairs their ability to derive happiness from pleasurable stimuli; this effect could have a long-term negative effect on people’s experienced happiness, the researchers say.

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