PROBLEM: Our fondest memories usually involve the last of something, be it a farewell kiss or the final day of school. Does this last-is-best bias extend to more trivial events in everyday life?
METHODOLOGY: University of Michigan psychologists Ed O’Brien and Phoebe C. Ellsworth recruited 52 students for a taste test of Hershey’s Kisses to see if even the smallest of endings have a “positivity effect.” The experimenters drew five chocolates — milk, dark, crème, caramel, and almond — in random order from a hidden pocket inside a bag without sharing to the participants how many chocolates there would be. Some participants were told each time they tasted a chocolate: “Here is the next one.” The others, however, were informed before the fifth piece was given that “this is the last one.”
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