This study is packed with tasty subtleties and interconnectivities:
We tested whether exposure to the ultimate symbols of an impatience culture—fast food—undermines people’s ability to experience happiness from savoring pleasurable experiences.
Study 1 found that the concentration of fast-food restaurants in individuals’ neighborhoods predicted their tendencies to savor.
Study 2 revealed that exposure to fast-food primes impeded participants’ ability to derive happiness from pictures of natural beauty.
Study 3 showed that priming fast food undermined positive emotional responses to a beautiful melody by inducing greater impatience, measured by both subjective perception of time passage and self-reports of impatience experienced during the music.
(Thanks to investigator Erwin Kompanje for bringing this to our attention.)
The authors produced a companion study:
“Fast food and financial impatience: A socio-ecological approach,” Sanford E. DeVoe, Julian House, and Chen-Bo Zhong, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105; 2013, pp. 476-494.
BONUS: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: