Food Can Save You From Being The Victim of a Voodoo Doll


So, you are trying to get the other side to be a little more receptive to your negotiated settlement?  Offer them a snack.  Otherwise, you might face the option of becoming a real life voodoo doll.  Recent research has shown that increasing blood sugar levels can help to reduce the anger and aggression levels in a person.

Researcher Brad Bushman and colleagues found in a study relating to couples, that people that had low blood glucose levels demonstrated more aggression and anger towards a spouse than persons with higher blood sugar levels.

For 21 days, glucose levels were measured in 107 married couples. To measure aggressive impulses, each evening participants stuck between 0 and 51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants competed against their spouse on a 25-trial task in which the winner blasted the loser with loud noise through headphones. As expected, the lower the level of glucose in the blood, the greater number of pins participants stuck into the voodoo doll, and the higher intensity and longer duration of noise participants set for their spouse.  (Low Glucose Leads to Greater Aggression in Married Couples)

These findings aren’t just helpful for married couples.  They work for any type of conflict and apply across the board.  Generally, I find that having snacks, food, and plenty of good things to eat are always surefire ways to help parties to better cope with the stress of mediations.  Often the food serves acts as a tool to comfort as much as a tool to provide nutrition and increase blood sugar levels.  But in the end, if a cookie will help to make the parties more amenable to a deal, then Mrs. Fields, come on down.


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Steven Mehta
Steve Mehta is a professional full-time mediator who specializes in mediating complex and emotional cases. A leading Los Angeles mediator, Mr. Mehta has been repeatedly selected as a Super Lawyer in mediation and is highly regarded by both sides to mediation. Visit:

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