Recent research has shown Our good intentions can ease pain and add to our sense of pleasure…they can even make food taste better.
Researchers at the Maryland Mind Perception and Morality Lab have found that physical events are influenced by the perceived contents of another person's mind. "It seems we also use the intentions of others as a guide for basic physical experience," whether this was the sensation of pain or quality of a massage. They even found that this effect could affect our taste buds.
Participants were given sweets in a package with a note attached saying either "I picked this just for you. Hope it makes you happy” or "Whatever. I just don't care. I just picked it randomly." In both cases the sweets were identical however the candy from the benevolent group was perceived to not only taste better, but was thought to be significantly sweeter. The researchers conclude that "Perceived benevolence not only improves the experience of pain and pleasure, but can also make things taste better,"
However bearing in mind that we are coming up to Valentine’s Day, the real message is to make sure your partner, sibling, friend, etc. knows you care. Assistant Professor Kurt Gray notes,
"It's not enough just to do good things for your partner -- they have to know you want them to feel good!"So if you’re thinking of making a present for someone make sure they know that it was made with love.
>> The psychology of gift giving - why homemade presents are best