People Are More Swayed by Things That Look Sciencey

Anyone who’s paged through a women’s magazine will recognize this strategy: to make a product seem better, surround it with a scientific glow. “Clinical trials show lashes grow up to 400% fuller!” “27% reduction of dark spots in 10 weeks!” “Ceramides!” Does this actually help convince people to hand over their cash? A study using promotions for fake drugs suggests that might be the case.

“Graphs equal truthiness,” says Aner Tal, a  researcher at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. “Tha

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