Thursday, November 11, 2010

Seeing meat calms you down, study says - The Globe and Mail

Next time you experience road rage or get into an argument with the boss, maybe ordering a nice, big, hunk of steak will soothe your aggression.

Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.

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Kachanoff recruited 82 men and asked them to punish an aide with various volumes of sound each time he made an error while sorting photos, some with pictures of meat, and others with neutral images. The researcher had anticipated participants who watched the aide sort meat photos would inflict more discomfort on him, but he was surprised when those pictures did not provoke aggressive behaviour.

“[W]ith the benefit of hindsight, it would make sense that our ancestors would be calm, as they would be surrounded by friends and family at meal time,” Kachanoff said in a press release.

If seeing meat really makes people more placid, could Lady Gaga have intended to calm, rather than provoke, when she wore that meat dress?

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

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