The team of researchers at France's University of Southern Brittany suggests that the fragrance of baked foods could encourage people to help others.
Researchers were trying to determine whether scent of baked foods plays a role in leaving positive impact on behavior of an individual and studied a group of eight participants. Four out of them were requested to be near a bakery, while the rest were asked to stand outside a clothing outlet.
The participants then dropped little articles, including handkerchiefs and gloves, while waiting for people to pass by.
It was found that 77% who crossed the bakery picked the dropped items and handed them over to the participants, while in case of those passing by the clothing store, only 52% did the same.
The experiment was conducted by the researchers nearly 400 times. The results each time confirmed their theory that aroma can stimulate the behavior of an individual to try to help others.
The study published in the Journal of Social Psychology said, "In general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread."