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.
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/