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M&Ms and Methods.

Peanut butter AND chocolate AND candy. GENIUS!

I think a large majority of people love M&Ms. My favorite are the ones with peanut butter inside. Yum! Ps, have you ever wondered how M&Ms are made? Look here if you’re curious to know.

Take a look at this experiment, its quite interesting. Its a great opportunity to think about food while also thinking about methods 🙂 Look at how the experimenter created their hypothesis, used previous research, selected the kind of methods to be used, selected participants, attained consent, and think about how the “social psychologist’s dilemma” fits into the picture.

There will be some M&Ms positive reinforcement for those who make some comments :):):). So when you comment, don’t forget to add your favorite kind of M&Ms at the end of it!

DEBBIE DOWNER MOMENT: I already said that I LOVE M&Ms right? Well did you know that M&Ms not only come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and fillings… BUT ALSO different genders and sexes? I bet thats new information for you right????? There are sexy female M&Ms and silly male ones.

M&Ms use female sexuality in their advertising a lot. Its kind of weird thinking of an M&M as sexy, but thats one of their biggest advertising strategies… utilizing gender roles and stereotypes. Is this super bowl commercial commercial funny? YES. Is it also sexist, in my opinion YES. And I am not the only one. This commercial made it into the top 5 sexist super bowl commercial list! Also our fellow wordpress comrades have posted on the issue as well! Food for thought as they say! ENJOY!


20 responses to “M&Ms and Methods.

  1. marabm712

    Well, I can totally relate to the experiment about mindless eating habits =D!
    When I was at Berkeley last summer, I was living in a double room in the dorms. Any snacks I got were put on my desk. And this was the trick! Whenever I was on my desk to study at night, I used to eat anything that was before me! Even when I wasn’t hungry! May be because I was bored, so whenever I felt that way I used to eat some M&Ms or Skittles, a bar of chocolate, or some chips. Of course if I had to go out to the supermarket to get a snack, I wouldn’t have gone, but because they were within my arm’s reach, this provoked me to mindlessly overeat
    I was lucky to not gain a lot of weight by the end of my stay, as we used to walk a lot, burning some of the extra, useless calories we ate =D!

    The video about how M&Ms are made is interesting =)! I have always wondered about how they are made!

    Also, I knew that M&Ms have genders, as I saw the female and male M&Ms as stuffed toys while I was in America. It is strange in a way, but may be the marketing team of the brand wants to relate in this way to girls and women. It doesn’t have to necessarily be sexist.

    I don’t have a favorite kind of M&Ms =D! I love them all, nothing specific =)

  2. It is very interesting to watch how M&Ms are actually made. i watched the advertising too. i think sexuality is one of the top methods that are used in advertising to grab views and for people to talk about the ad and so on, for example i hate the AXE ads. Just by using Axe, the women will run after you -.- really? do guys actually believe in that?
    Anyways, i would like to share my love for M&Ms : D i like it too, and when i found the post, i had to check it out.
    For my favourite kind: i like the original one with chocolate 😀 yummm!!

  3. They produce 2 billion M&Ms every 8 hours?!! That’s really a lot!

    I love M&M’s they are mood boosters, with all their different colors they just make me happy =D. Although it’s really tempting to add M&M’s in the shopping cart I try not to. It’s the same thing as the experiment when these items are not around you; you tend not to eat them. So, on my shopping list I try not to include these items (chocolate, chips, and fizzy drinks) not to end up having them at home with in my reach. It’s really true that when these items are around the house with in our reach we tend to consume them more.

  4. I love M&M’s and the ones with peanut butter are my favorite☺. It’s shocking that they make 2 Billion M&Ms every 8 hours.

    The experiment on the size and placement of food is very interesting. It’s a new way to look how we tend to perceive food or behave towards it. I guess everyone can relate to it somehow. I always eat more of the small version believing that it would have a fewer calories and that the nearer the food, the more likely I will eat it even if I am not hungry.

    I believe that M&M’s ad and characters are sexist. Maybe not everyone would recognize it because we have been oppressed almost all our lives that we don’t realize it anymore. Miss Brown in the ad is presented as an object which in itself, degrading for us. I know that some might argue that it’s just an M&Ms why makes a big deal out of it? But these little things do matter and even if sexual difference is presented as being normal it is in fact a construct of culture. The first step toward change is awareness and to realize that there is something wrong that need to be changed.

  5. I never thought about this… when you find something that is easy to reach or to get… you eat more of it. I’ll tell you a story. I am constantly on a diet; and I always cheat. I keep telling my friends that when i’m on a diet i want to go out more, because if I stay home, I eat more. I understand now that I eat more at home, because I have easier access to food (and maybe also because of boredom, i don’t know). But when I go out, I have the choice either to order something or not.
    As for the part of the M&ms ads, I don’t think it’s sexy… I watched the top 5 sexy ads and all of them have models acting. Adrianna lima(victoria’s secret model) is even acting in one of them. I can’t compare her to an M&M. 😀

  6. M&Ms is a very interesting product, if you think about it. They have been one the most popular candies since I can remember: from all the times they were referenced in movies to being the only candy product to open its own stores (if i’m not mistaken). I never really thought of their ads as being sexist before (which is ironic since i’m an IMC major) but how else would you advertise candy? I believe the idea of giving character to each of their coloured chocolates is genius. I can’t name another candy that has ads that catch your attention or resonate with you as much as they do. All other chocolate products have used that sexist approach by being ONLY for women. If you think of all the ads for chocolate, the model will most definitely be a woman. M&Ms tried to integrate this “humorous” stereotype with their idea, which again I believe was very clever. They positioned it as a fun product for everyone, but to further enlarge their segment and target they tried to remind women especially that they too are a chocolate snack for “comfort” to be thought of. Because, let’s admit it women are still the biggest target when it comes to chocolate. And it worked! Even for calorie counters, what will be more satisfying for the same amount of cals one chocolate bar or a BAG of M&Ms? Advertising is all about perception and how they want to make you see their product. Moreover, the experiment conducted is another example of advertising consequences since we have been programmed to mistake quantity for quality. Here is a funny video on advertising and sexism:

    p.s. I love absolutely ANYTHING with peanut butter! 😀

  7. nohaezz ⋅

    That was really really FUN! I have been researching for my “research methods” psychology course for hours now and was searching for nothing but extremely long, sometimes boring, 10+ pages research papers so the M&Ms post is just amazing! Just a simple note, I think this chapter will always be linked to M&Ms in my head which is awesome! I think I will never forget that!
    Well, first of all my idea of research now is getting a bit better because this is almost the first research that I found to be so short and TOTALLY interesting! The researcher is pretty smart too in her research design and idea. I was actually going through the details of the study without feeling bored. Research isn’t boring as it might seem. About the social psychologists dilemma; well, she has a couple of problems or let’s better say limitations. First of all, her friends are not representative to the whole population; it is portraying only a sector of the population (the well-educated) as well as a certain age group. This is the external validity aspect. Concerning the internal validity aspect, I somehow felt there still might be other influencing factors (or variables) that are controlling the dependent variable. Some of these variables might be the fact that they are on a trip and some of them might just have more “casual” eating habits than their normal ones, or their moods or many other factors. What she should care more for might be the internal validity since in this case she really had no further control on her “sample”. It is good how she followed the research steps; formulated a hypothesis, designed a study, and checked previous research.
    About the video; it’s very lovely to see how organized those people are. I noticed how machines are controlling maybe 99% of the work which is both good and bad. And there came a random thought to my head; what if M&Ms were all one color? Would people (and specially kids) be that excited about them (especially children)? Colors are just amazing and they do influence our perceptions. Even a very simple M&M that you just eat when you are bored or hungry takes a tremendous amount of effort, but it’s totally worth it! A final thing, an idea can be eternal; see how M&Ms are relatively old but never lose their beauty! It’s very inspirational how a single idea can exist for a long time! And by the way, to burn a single original M&M you need to walk 120 yards (a football field); this fact SHOCKED me a while ago and I just had to share it!
    The Ad is very sexist for sure and as you said, many of the Ads do rely on gender roles. And it was just annoying how the working woman was stereotyped as the very practical, serious woman wearing glasses! Advertising is really a huge realm of thought and I believe it does portray the culture and the society to an extent.
    My favorite M&Ms are the original ones 😀

  8. mariamr94

    i agree with the experiment big time ! actually i LOOVE M&Ms a lot specially the ones with the nuts inside, however i never was the one to have the initiative of bringing them home. usually some one else does for me. In the summer while i was away with my friends, they were the ones who initiated the idea of having m&ms at home and for the first few times i wasn’t the one who put them in the cart so that i wont be the one responsible for the “calories” that come with ! but at the same time i didn’t oppose having them at home and every time they were near my path at the kitchen table at our small apartment i eat the whole thing! until, i became to an extent habituated to the fact that we MUST have m&ms at home and started to pick them during grocery shopping ! 🙂

    • I found the experiment really interesting. I love all M&Ms flavors.. I don’t think I have a favorite one. They remind me of the time I used to live in New York. I used to spend so much time in their store and buy all sorts of products even pjs and mugs and so many others. I actually never thought about their products as being sexist but after watching the video I might consider them sexist to a certain extent. However my love to them will never diminish.

  9. About the experiment I find it really interesting too. whenever we see food available and easily accessible we tend to eat even though we might not even be hungry. plus whenever you start to eat something we sometimes tend to finish it it just for the sake of finishing the whole bar or bag of chips. we also eat chocolate during or after most emotional states ( when we are happy, sad, exited, bored or angry). So the experiment says that we tend to eat more when food is easy to reach, but it is funny how after we finish what is accessible we go to the kitchen and indulge in whatever we find tempting.

    I also know that M&M’s have genders, but I never thought of why? but now after seeing this it is very surprising to me that they might be sending a message from this gender difference. at the same time it might be just a way that they use to make their advertisements more interesting for people. Another thing is that as they make the female M&M look sexy, they make the male one’s look silly which is a bad thing to males. so the male gender is being addressed not in a good way.

    My favorite are the ones with peanut butter inside too 🙂 I love them so much (addiction).

  10. nohafarid

    The experiment of M&M’s is definitely interesting. I was put in a similar situation like this before. I was staying over at a friend’s house for a couple of weeks, and, as a nice gesture, they placed a jar of Hershey’s kisses next to my bed. So, every time I was in the room my hands automatically reached for the jar, but whenever it was out of my reach, I didn’t really care about eating the chocolate or not. Which definitely proves that this experiment is totally right.

    The reason why M&M’s have genders basis is to get people to buy it more, and to grab the attention of the kids, as they are the main consumers of the product, now that the bag is sold with a small toy. In my point of view, that’s just too wrong and is based on sexism, which shouldn’t really be the main goal of the commercial. Despite the fact that the commercials are funny and all, however; they always tend to focus and draw attention to the sexuality of the woman and neglect the fact that women are smart, serious and ambitious, apart from the fact that they play a huge role in the society. This sends a message to the viewers that all what really matters is the woman’s sexuality and how people should view women as nothing but sexual objects. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re dumb you just have to be beautiful, that’s what truly matters, that’s how they think and how they want people to think.

  11. Sabrine Khemiri ⋅

    Dr. Susan Albers’ experiment is quite interesting at first you would think that this is a banal experiment that no one would ever think of designing. But it is obvious that even though it is a simple it led to discovering that when anything to eat is reachable or in your field of vision you tend to grab it and eat without thinking of it and most times without feeling hungry and that is the main cause behind snacking all day long. Her experiment is actually smart! I love chocolate and I could eat it all day but i’m not as fond of M&M’S, however I must admit that the process of making it is fun, especially I learned in the video that only that factory produces 2billion M&M’S every 8 hours that is huge!! Furthermore, it is considered as one successful company worldwidely since it has it’s own stores…etc. I always thought that the M&M’S commercials were creative and funny but I never payed attention to the fact that they were sexist or that they used gender roles as a marketing strategy!

  12. I love how the first line of every comment above started with: i found this experiment very “interesting” hahah. (just caught my attention) 😛

    Anyway, yeah observing people while waiting to prove your hypothesis right would be very funny, especially if they’re your friends and they know you’re about to experiment with them. His point of view definitely relates to me as well. i LOVE food!! i eat anything and everything at any amount at any time of day! And snacks, ohh Goodness! They are my best friends! haha! If i can see them, i eat them 😉 very simple strategy huh?

    At my house, we have this magical cabinet that i call the “weight gainer”. My father travels every two weeks to Holland, so everything you can imagine is in this cabinet (from chocolates, to cookies, candy, nougat, crackers, and of course every type, size, and flavor of each category!) But ever since we moved to a 3-story house, the snacks cabinet is not really close to me. So, i found a new strategy: go to the cabinet, choose your favorites or just one of each snack, and put it in your night stand. Therefore, they are always next to me, which means theyre always eaten right away. And yes, if you eat chocolate, you must have chips as well. its a package, even if you weren’t craving chips! the salty and sweet mixture just makes my heart smile! 😀

    My favorite M&M’s are the just chocolate with the brown wrapping. :))

  13. Mona

    M&Ms !! I cannot wait 😀
    Well, Regarding the experiment, this could be typically me. I might have just finished my lunch and get back to my desk, find some snacks or anything to eat and I just keep eating. I think the external validity of this experiment is very high 😀

    Honestly, I was somehow lost while reading the methodology chapter as every method has its limits and there are many dilemmas, though this experiment is simple and based on previous research which increases its validity. I think that it should not be 100% accurate but it is by anyways a contribution to similar studies; needless to mention how interesting it is!

  14. ftyebjee

    I can totally relate to eating more in certain places. It’s funny though because I have all this food in my apartment from the states that I brought but I never eat it. I’m not really sure why, but then when I’m at my home in Chicago I always find myself munching on food constantly. I always notice at my grandparents house, as they leave candy everywhere, I’m always grabbing whatever kind of chocolate on my way in and out. It’s so true that when you have access to something easily you use more or eat more of it then when you have to make an effort. It’s kind of like how EVERYTHING delivers in Egypt. I feel lazy to go out so I order food, groceries whatever. Back in the states however you actually have to get out of the house. I noticed it so much when I was home, I was so lazy and kept being like I wish I could just order what I wanted and have it delivered to my door.

    To the sexism in m&ms, I always found it amusing. They try and do this with everything i feel. All kinds of chocolate or beverages etc.

  15. This is actually funny ,it reminded me of how I always am in finals . Usually before finals i eat a lot ,and m&ms are reallly my motivation .so i used to tell myself okay noha if you actually study and ge tthis done you will reward yourself with an m&m and although i rewarded myself within every minute and without getting much work done ,it is hard to have such addictive things infront of you and not eat them . VERY HARD . But yes i think it’s true ,you reach what is near you ,it usally is hard for you not to eat what is right infront of you ,specially candy

  16. I think this experiment is really interesting and i can definitely relate to it. usually at home there isn’t any candy’s or chocolates available since no one really likes it at my house and I’m always to lazy to order any chocolates because i feel guilty after eating it so i decide to ignore it BUT as soon as i visit my friends house where all the kind of chocolates are available in her mini fridge, i start eating and eating nonstop with no regrets. i always thought it is so weird that i like chocolates so much but never actually bought any and i only eat it when its available right in front of me! so i think this experiment is so true !!! i also think the M&Ms experiment was really funny because these kind of ads really have an effect on men and women just like any toothpaste or any mint candy!!!!!

    my favorite M&M is peanut butter too !! 🙂

  17. sarazaky

    I love how the experimenter used such a simple snack and made an experiment out of it. But what if the particpants reached for the candy in sight because, apart from the fact that everyone love M&Ms, but they also come in such a convenient size that just makes you eat them whenever and in chunks. But then again I remember when I lived in a dorm room in London I had my own mini kitchen inside and I had to pass by it as soon as I came through the door of my room, no need to say that I had to eat something everytime I got home, regardless of its ‘convenient’ size. But I finally took notice of this mindless eating and I just stopped buying and leaving snacks hanging around. Especially those 500g bags of peanuts M&Ms yumm..

  18. hanahafiz

    I’m fascinated by all these experiments; I think its so interesting how something so simple and fun can be turned into an experiment that tells us more about humans and how they act. I’d love to experiment things like that on my friends 😀 I can relate to the results of the experiment and I definitely think that if something’s closer to you then you will eat more of it.
    I’m not a huge fan of m&ms but I don’t mind eating them 🙂

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