False memories could prompt kids to eat their veggies

  • False memories could prompt kids to eat their veggies

Many people -- and probably most kids -- don't like eating their vegetables. But what if there was a psychological way to convince them to do so?

Elizabeth Loftus, professor of social ecology, has done studies testing whether false memories can be planted in people, and the effects those memories have, including on eating habits. It turns out, false memories about past negative experiences from eating certain foods led people to eat less of those foods. False positive memories led them to eat more of those foods.

The idea of, essentially, tricking kids to eat more healthy food doesn't always go down easy, though.

"When I have suggested that this mind technology might be worth trying, people have a resistance to it. They don’t like the idea that parents would lie to their kids," Loftus told Popular Science. "What about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? You’re perfectly capable of lying to the kids under some circumstances."

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