London: The smell of freshly baked bread, cakes and pastries don't just stimulate our appetites - they make us nicer people too, according to psychologists. French psychologists said that shoppers are more likely to alert a passer-by who has dropped something if at the time they are passing near a bakery, a daily reported.

Researchers at the University of Southern Brittany recruited eight men and women and told them to stand outside either a bakery or a boutique.

They were then asked to step out in front of a passing shopper and "accidentally" drop a handkerchief, packet of tissues or a glove. To be sure of their findings, the experiment was repeated 400 times. And the results were revealing.

When items were dropped outside a bakery, 77 per cent of passers-by rushed to pick up the item.
However, only 52 per cent bothered to help outside the boutique. Enticing food odours brings out the altruism in the best of us, the team said. The report is published in The Journal of Social Psychology.


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