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The Cootie Effect: Touch, Contagion, and Magical Thinking

I’ve written about product contagion – the weird ability of one product to “infect” another with its properties (or its “cooties”) when they touch in a shopping cart – but there’s a related phenomenon that is, if anything, even stranger. […]

By |August 11th, 2014|

Product Contagion

I recall the first mega-store that opened locally – it happened to be a Meijer store, though now Super Wal-Marts, Super Targets, and other stores that sell everything are common. It was interesting to watch what other shoppers had in their carts as they checked out – a gallon of milk, a floor mop, khaki slacks, and a chainsaw… one could start a creative writing contest in which entrants had to write a story based on shopping carts full of disparate items. As it turns out, there’s a downside to at least some of those weird product juxtapositions. New research shows that products that trigger subconscious feelings of disgust can “contaminate” consumer perceptions of other products. […]

By |May 24th, 2007|