Monday, September 26, 2011

Why you have to add an egg to instant cake mix

When instant cake mixes were introduced in the 1950s as part of a broader trend to simplify the life of the American housewife by minimizing manual labor, housewives were initially resistant: the mixes made cooking too easy, making their labor and skill seem undervalued. As a result, manufacturers changed the recipe to require adding an egg...
--Michael Norton, Daniel Mochon, and Dan Ariely, Journal of Consumer Psychology, on gratuitous-labor-creating devices. HT: Chris Blattman tweet 

UPDATE: But see Snopes for a kind-of refutation