Would you stare someone down for a Kit Kat bar?

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If you make candy bars and sell them through vending machines, you can use operant conditioning principles to get people to do all sort of things. In this case, Nestlé, the maker of Kit Kat bars in Brazil, put special vending machines on two different college campuses in the same Brazilian city. The machines streamed video to each other. Players stepped up to each machine and pressed play (“jogar” in Portuguese). The goal? To win a staring contest. The winner earned a Kit Kat Chunky chocolate bar.

Video Link : 1628

Bonus: If you’d like to expand your coverage of schemas to talk about differences in food preferences around the world, tell your students about the phenomenon that is Kit Kat, the most popular candy, in Japan. Ask your students to guess how many flavors of Kit Kat there are in Japan. The answer: almost 300 (Goldman, 2016).

Some of the flavors: grilled potato, cherry blossom, soybean, blueberry cheesecake, chocobanana, white peach, green tea, pumpkin, apple, mango, lemon, red bean paste, apple vinegar, pineapple, kiwi, cappuccino, jasmine tea (The weird and wacky…, n.d.). Want to try out some of these flavors yourself? You can order some here.

Why is Kit Kat so popular in Japan? One factor is probably because its name is similar to the Japanese phrase kitto katsu – good luck (literally, surely win) (Goldman, 2016).

Goldman, R. (2016, May 13). Japan has a Kit Kat for every taste, and then some. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/14/world/what-in-the-world/kit-kat-japan.html

The weird and wacky flavors of Kit Kat in Japan. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2016, from http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/worlds-weirdest-kit-kat-candy-bars/

About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology since 1992. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed. and is co-author with Charles Stangor on Introduction to Psychology, 4.0.