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Chances are you’ve come across this scenario in a commercial: A woman, weary from the demands of modern life, finds a quiet place to recharge by indulging in a pint of ice cream or bag of chips. The moment she’s alone and able to pop off the lid or tear open the packaging, the exhaustion in her face quickly turns into contentment.
This guilty pleasure genre of advertising works, and a recent paper in the Journal of Consumer Research helps explain why.