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When people eat off shared plates, they are more likely to cooperate in negotiations, finds a study in Psychological¬†Science. Researchers paired 200 strangers (students at a U.S. university) and asked each pair to negotiate an hourly wage for workers who were on strike, with one participant playing the role of management and the other playing the role of the labor union. Before the negotiation, participants ate a snack: tortilla chips and sals, served from either one large shared bowl or two smaller separate bowls. On average, participant pairs who ate from a shared bowl settled on a wage more quickly–within four rounds of offers and counteroffers–than pairs who ate from separate bowls, who took nine rounds to agree on a wage. The researchers replicated the results in two more experiments, one with pairs of friends and another with pairs of acquaintances. (Monitor on Psychology)

Eating from a shared bowl may subtly encourage people to work together.

Susie Bean Gives