You’ve probably heard the expression drool-worthy to describe a shiny new sports car or a fabulous pair of shoes. Well it turns out that’s not just a figure of speech.
That’s the conclusion of new research that examined how people react when faced with the prospect of non-edible consumption.
According to the study in the Journal of Consumer Research people salivate when they desire material objects. In the study, researchers first had study participants view photos of money while holding cotton dental rolls in their mouths. The rolls were then weighed to measure saliva.
The study found romance may be another prime motivator in drooling after expensive goods.
In a second experiment, men looked at photos of high-end cars. However, before looking at the cars, some of the men were first shown photos of beautiful women and told to ponder one they would like to date. Others were simply told to think about getting a haircut.
The result: those musing over mating salivated more than those mulling over a mullet.
The finding echoes those of prior studies, suggesting that men often seek to make an impression on women they pursue by shopping for expensive goodies.
The researchers believe that salivating over objects of desire, be it trinkets or truffles, may stem from a neurological pathway that ends up triggering the same reward bell in the brain.