Press release of the week: Meat Aggression

This press release from McGill University is almost perfectly designed to attract lots of press attention. We have underlined some of of the key elements. Can you identify others? It begins:

Caveman behavioural traits might kick in at dinner table before eating
Nov. 8, 2010

Seeing meat provokes a sense of non-aggression that could be related to primate’s family feasting

Frank Kachanoff was surprised. He thought the sight of meat on the table would make people more aggressive, not less…. Kachanoff, a researcher with a special interest in evolution at McGill University’s Department of Psychology, has discovered quite the reverse. According to research presented at a recent symposium at McGill, seeing meat appears to make human beings significantly less aggressive….

Kachanoff believed that humans may therefore have evolved an innate predisposition to respond aggressively towards meat, and recruited 82 males to test his theory, using long-established techniques for provoking and measuring aggression. The experiment itself was quite simple – subjects had to punish a script reader every time he made an error while sorting photos, some with pictures of meat, and others with neutral imagery….

“We used imagery of meat that was ready to eat….,” Kachanoff explained….

BONUS: The press release works.