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Psychology

In the News

Light, Camera, Food!

Shareen Ashraf

5th November 2016

We live in a world where taking photos has become an obsession, hence the development of so many applications that involve picture sharing. One of most popular apps is ‘Snapchat’ which allows users to apply filters to make their photos appear more artistic.

Image by kaboompics.com licensed under CC-BY 2.0

However, artificial lighting, which we are not aware of, may also act as a filter and impact our decisions without us even knowing. Research has shown that lighting in restaurants can impact our food choices. A recent study, published in ‘The Journal of Marketing Research’, investigated 160 diners who were grouped in either a dimly lit or brightly lit room. They found that those who were seated in the low-light condition ordered food with 39% more calories, while those who were seated in the brightly lit room were 16-24% more likely to choose healthy food.

One of the explanations is that we feel more alert when making decisions in a bright lit environment, hence the reason for selecting more healthful food. So, next time your about to order a calorific meal…turn on the lights!

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Shareen Ashraf

Shareen is a part-time psychology teacher for a Sixth Form Academy in Birmingham. Shareen is interested in sharing her passion of psychology with students and teachers and also works as an examiner and freelance psychology writer.

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