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Can smells make us friendlier?

June 12 2015

The experts, at the University of Southern Brittany in France, recruited eight young men and women volunteers and told them to stand outside either a bakery or a clothes boutique. The volunteers pretended to be looking for something in their bags as they stepped in front of a passing shopper. As they walked a few feet in front of the shopper, the participants dropped a glove, handkerchief or packet of tissues. 

The experiments – which were repeated up to 400 times – found that when the volunteers dropped the items outside the bakery, 77% of passers-by stopped and helped recover the lost items and hand them back to their owner. Outside the clothes shop only 52% of strangers helped.

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