Guilt Makes the Pie Taste Sweeter
Many of us who generally maintain a healthy diet will fall off the wagon over the upcoming holidays. We’ll be offered a particularly enticing appetizer or dessert and, after some initial hesitation, indulge.
While that process inevitably produces internal conflict, it turns out we are rewarded for our discomfort. According to newly published research, the guilt we feel may make that decadent treat taste even more delicious than it otherwise would.
When succumbing to temptation, “people who are primed with guilt subsequently experience greater pleasure than people who are not,” reports a research team led by Kelly Goldsmith of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “People lack awareness of this automatic process.”
Writing in the Journal of Marketing Research, Goldsmith and her colleagues describe six experiments that provide evidence for their thesis.