Researchers found that the brain responds to a small toy, gift card, or lottery ticket in the same way it does to a mouth-watering burger or cheese-slathered pizza.

In a series of experiments, the researchers found that the majority of children and adults chose a half-sized portion meal paired with a toy or monetary prize over a full-sized portion meal without a toy or monetary prize. The price of the two options was kept the same.

The study also pointed out that individuals could celebrate achievements like a job promotion, with something other than food and still be happy.

The study was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.


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