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Why Do We Like Shiny Things?

Why are we drawn to shiny objects? Just because they’re attractive? Or is there a deeper reason?

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My precious: Scientists discover why we are attracted to shiny objects – and say the key is our inbuilt desire for water

“In one of the tests, researchers blindfolded 46 test participants and handed them a piece of paper. Half received a glossy sheet, half a matte sheet. Participants who held the glossy sheet rated it as higher quality and more attractive than those in the matte group – even without getting a look at it.”

All That Glistens: II. The Effects of Reflective Surface Finishes on the Mouthing Activity of Infants and Toddlers

“A number of infants and toddlers have been observed to mouth and to lick the horizontal metal mirrors of toys on their hands and knees in a manner not unlike the way older children drink from rain pools in developing countries. Such mouthing of glistening surfaces by nursing-age children might characterize the precocious ability to recognize the glossy and sparkling features of water long before this information is useful later in development.”

New study takes the shine off magpie folklore

“Magpies are not attracted to shiny objects and don’t routinely steal small trinkets such as jewelry, according to a new study. In European culture, it is widely accepted that magpies (Pica pica) are the pilferers of the bird kingdom, unconditionally attracted to sparkly things and prone to pinching them for their nests, almost as a compulsion.”
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