Giving Out Full-Sized Candy Bars on Halloween Mean You’re Showing Off
There's always that house that gives out full-size candy bars on Halloween. What does that say about the giver-outer?
In theory, Halloween is pretty simple. Kids come to the door, they say 'trick or treat', and you give them some candy. Simple, right? Not so fast.
There are options when it comes to candy. Full-size or fun-size? Name brand candy, or the vaguely generic second tier candy? Chocolate or candy like Sweet Tarts? One or multiple pieces? And what do your candy choices say about you?
Lest you think we're making this all up, Fortune magazine talked to behavioral economists to answer that very question.
They say what we give out on Halloween is as much about "keeping up with the Joneses" as it is "signaling" what we want people to think about us - that we're successful, or very generous.
According to Fortune, if you're giving out full sized candy bars, you're hoping you look good to your neighbors, and you want people to think you're successful. Fun-sized? If that's your neighborhood norm, that's cool - but maybe you'll throw a kid 2 or 3 instead of just one.
Are we being judged for our candy choices? As a kid, the answer to that was a resounding "heck yes" - we definitely judged the house that gave us the old, chalky Easter candy. The full-size candy bar house? We totally thought they were rich.
We'd like to think adults are above that, but, behavioral economics says we're not.
(The economists also described a neighborhood outside San Francisco where homeowners set up bars for parents, and photo booths for the kids, too. That's a little "extra.")
Trick or treat. Choose wisely.