Monkey See, Monkey Buy

| 1/5/2008 12:52:29 PM

Next time you find yourself at the White Castle drive-thru, ordering a beach ball-sized sack of slyders, don’t blame the midnight munchies. Blame evolution. Blame the monkey, hidden deep inside the mossy roots of your family tree, happily swinging through the jungle picking fruit. According to an article in LiveScience, it’s the monkey’s fault that humans are so easily influenced by fast-food commercials, bright neon signs, and colorful billboards.

Humans’ paternal primates relied on a specific set of skills and senses to survive in the wild. Many of those traits have been passed on to us. Some of the abilities we share with monkeys—seeing colors, perceiving three dimensions—are the same abilities that make us susceptible to even the simplest marketing ploys. Monkeys needed 3D vision to jump from tree to tree. In humans, seeing in three dimensions can make TV hamburgers look irresistible. Monkeys developed the ability to see colors, a trait that helped them judge the ripeness of fruit. Humans' ability to see colors can make stomachs grumble when they see the bright fruits and veggies in grocery-store ads. The article gives the impression that humans haven’t come very far as a species, especially when it comes to food. 

Morgan Winters

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