Science has once again stepped up to the plate, in a manner of speaking. A new study says that singing “Happy Birthday” actually makes cake taste better.
The study, published in the upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, finds that the ritual of singing before eating a slice of cake, or any other dessert, increases one’s appreciation of the treat. The result is that the food ends up tasting better, at least in our minds.
The “Happy Birthday to You” song hasn’t even been around for 100 years, though the Guinness World Records does call it the most recognizable song in the English language. So, is it the song itself or the ritual?
University of Minnesota psychologist Kathleen Vohs found that this ritual even extends beyond singing to include such practices as how one opens a candy bar wrapper.