Another piece of the puzzle

"[Dichter] also understood that [American] consumers felt guilt after buying self-indulgent [sic] products, so marketers had to sell such things as tobacco and candy as 'rewards' for the deserving.  Much of this is taken for granted now, but when [in the 1940s] Dichter was whispering these sweet nothings in the ears of CEOs, they were revelatory."

--"Retail Therapy: How Ernest Dichter, an acolyte of Sigmund Freud, revolutionised marketing," The Economist (December 17th-30th, 2011), p. 122.

Just in case you were wondering why you are so convinced that you "deserve" that cookie, even when you aren't hungry.  Or why you think eating will make you feel better when what you really need is a hug.

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