Title: Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It’s Easy To Pick Up
Context: What your brain doesn’t know about how your brain works might just kill you. Or at least give you a mad sugar rush.
Synopsis: Our brain literally makes trillions of unconscious calculations all day long. Most of them are designed to keep us alive (“Don’t cross the street! I see an oncoming car in our peripheral vision!”) but some of them are just plain old lazy. The brain, with it’s near infinite computational workload requires a lot of effort to keep us from becoming road kill, so every once in a while it decides to take a shortcut and save itself some neural-cycles. The brain in its self-regulating quest to optimize performance fails to account for all the variables that can help it make a better — dare I say, “smarter” — decision (“Boy that glass of water looks hard to grip. Go for that attractively ergonomic bottle of soda instead. FTW!”) And of course, wherever there exists a subliminal loophole, some ethically-questionable cad is going to take advantage of it to their benefit, and, very often, your detriment. So don’t be an ethically-questionable cad, get rid of predatory design behavior and upgrade to the ability to look yourself in the mirror every morning.
Best Bit: “In 2008, Coke redesigned its two-liter bottle a few years ago to make it curvier and thus, ‘easier to hold and pour,’ in the words of a Coca-Cola representative. And suddenly, Beilock reports, Coke was selling a lot more of its two-liter sodas than archrival Pepsi.”

via npr.org