Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Language-Thought, Neuroscience, Social Influence.

Description: OK, this sounds like a weird question perhaps but what music would you predict would be most likely to get you to say “YES” to the question “would you like fries with that?” The picture below (if you recognize ED) gives the answer away but the more important questions are why does this work and what do we NOW need to be aware of and on our guards about when we are out shopping and/or eating?

Source: Why the sound of Ed Sheeran helps sell fries, Chitra Ramaswamy, Retail Industry, short Cuts, The Guardian.
Date: April 2, 2017

Photo Credit:  Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Links:  Article Link —

We have known (maybe always?) that music triggers certain associations in our brains. That is what music does right? It can intensify our terror in a horror movie, encourage tears in poignant sappy scenes in romantic or tragic films and, apparently, it can tune us to the brand or brands around us when we enter certain stores or restaurants. And now, as with many things tied into “big data” consultants are using data to help retail establishments tune the music they play in the background so that we spend more in general or so that we are more likely to buy burgers, fries or desserts. We can be “primed” by music to do all manner of things and while the effects may not lead to purchase decisions for everyone all the time it ups the likelihood that sales will occur and from a business point of view that’s money!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are several ways you are already aware of that music affects your moods and perhaps even your behaviour?
  2. What are some of the ways in which the music we are exposed to as “background” top our shopping or eating experiences might influence our consumer behaviour?
  3. What, if anything, can or should we do in our day-to-day lives as consumers in relation to these research findings? Are there ethical issues involved here?

References (Read Further):

We grow business with music,


LaRose, R. A. (2016). The Language of Music and Math: An Investigation of Cross-Domain Effects of Structural Priming.

Feezell, J. T. (2017). It’s Not Only Rock and Roll: The Influence of Music Preferences. Music as a Platform for Political Communication, 167.

Zellner, D., Geller, T., Lyons, S., Pyper, A., & Riaz, K. (2017). Ethnic congruence of music and food affects food selection but not liking. Food Quality and Preference, 56, 126-129.

Lang, M., Mitkidis, P., Kundt, R., Nichols, A., Krajčíková, L., & Xygalatas, D. (2016). Music as a sacred cue? Effects of religious music on moral behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

Hsu, D. Y., Huang, L., Nordgren, L. F., Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2015). The music of power: perceptual and behavioral consequences of powerful music. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(1), 75-83.