London: If it's the last, you'll like it the best -- at least when it comes to chocolates. This is because knowing something is going to end makes people enjoy it more, says a new study.
An international team, led by the University of Michigan, has found that most people become "motivated" when they know an experience is about to be completed and this is what leads to a person thinking the experience would end happily.
"Endings affect us in lots of ways and one is this 'positivity effect'. It is something motivational. You think 'I might as well reap the benefits of this experience even though it is going to end' or 'I want to get something good out of this while I still can'.
"It's also possible that we have become used to expecting endings to be happy. When you simply tell people something is the last, they may like that thing more," Ed O'Brien, who led the study, was quoted by a newspaper as saying.
The study involved 52 students, women and men, who were asked to draw five chocolates -- milk, dark, creme, caramel, and almond -- in random order from a hidden pocket inside a bag. The participants didn't know how many there would be.
After tasting each, they rated how enjoyable it was from 0 to 10. Some participants were told each time: "Here is the next one." The others got the same lead-in until the fifth chocolate, before which the experimenter said, "This is the last one.”

After tasting all the chocolates, the participants indicated which they liked best and how enjoyable the tasting was overall. The results -- the fifth chocolate was rated as more enjoyable when it was the "last" chocolate versus just another in the taste test.
The designated "last" chocolate was also the favourite 64 percent of the time, no matter which flavor it was. Among those who ate only "next" chocolates, the last was chosen 22 percent of the time. And the "last" group also rated the whole experience as more enjoyable than "nexts" did.
"Many experiences have happy endings -- from the movies and shows we watch to dessert at the end of the meal – and so many people may have a general expectation that things end well, which could bleed over into these unrelated or insignificant judgements," O'Brien said.
The findings have been published in the 'Psychological Science' journal.