So I couldn’t help thinking about the Simon and Garfunkel song when I read about the latest research coming out in the Journal of Consumer Research. The research demonstrates the need to “slow down” if you want to get more pleasure out of your life, particularly during activities such as eating.
As you know, we are all in such a big hurry these days. In fact, I would say the tyranny of busyness effects most people and never in a positive manner. People say to me all the time that they are so busy rushing from one activity to the next they either don’t have time to eat or they eat on the run, in the car, at their computer working, or during some other activity. This way of eating strips all of the pleasure from it. By the way, it strips the pleasure out of most other things as well.
In the study by Jeff Golak, Justin Kruger, and George Loewenstein, test subjects picked the time they would wait in between eating six Hershey’s Kisses (from 10 seconds to 200 seconds) or the time was assigned to them of 200 seconds in between Kisses.
When given a choice, people spent 93 seconds in between each Kiss, which was more than twice as fast as the assigned group. The people who ate the candies more quickly said that their pleasure dropped steeply from the first Kiss to the last. For the more leisurely group, enjoyment dropped only slightly.
Take home message: The first bite is always the best (if you’re present for it) and the rest can be really good too if you slow down to enjoy it. Do it slow! And enjoy!
Note: I am aware the lyrics of the song by Simon and Garfunkel are “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last” but moment worked better for the story. Forgive me, Simon and Garfunkel.