With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a nice discovery that love does indeed make some things in life seem sweeter. Studies have shown that certain emotions heighten our senses, with love causing things to taste sweeter, loneliness making the world feel colder, and the idea of importance making things feel heavier.

One recent study, published in the journal Emotion, asked participants to write about an experience of either romantic love, jealously, or a neutral topic, following which they were each given a sweet-and-sour or bittersweet candy. Those participants who wrote about love found the candies sweeter than their counterparts. Participants then repeated the experience, but were given water under the guise of ‘a new drink product’ rather than candy. Once again those who wrote about love found the water sweeter.

Fortunately for those who wrote about jealously, evoking the emotion did not cause the candies or water to taste bitter, as metaphor might suggest – showing that only some metaphors have truth.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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