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Baking Research

Goals

At a high level to understand what information is available about the relationship between the act of baking and how it helps us connect with the people we do it with. Specifically, to find out what senses are most stimulated through the act of baking, whether there are studies are available on whether baking helps us to recall memories from our childhood, the age groups that are most likely to bake together, and the age groups that are least likely to. Separately, to understand the age groups that are least likely to communicate with one another in a broader sense. To find out some key common topics/themes that inter-generational family members talk to each other about and care about. To find out what people 25 and under think about older generations, specifically to see if they consider them relevant. Additionally, to get an age range breakdown is of the most popular ‘influencers’ in social media, and the common themes people aged 100 and above are talking about online.

Early Findings

  • A 2016 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that practicing simple creative acts, lke baking, on a regular basis can lead to more positive psychological functioning. After following 658 participants over the course of two weeks, the researchers found a correlation between everyday creativity and positive psychological functioning.
  • An April 2018 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that young adults who engaged in “Maker activities,” such as cooking, baking, and gardening, was linked to positive subjective well-being. Participants said the most important reasons for engaging in such activities were mood repair, socializing, and staying present-focused.
  • Another study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine found that “culinary therapy” can even be an effective tool in grief management.
  • Baking has the benefit of allowing people creative expression,” associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, Donna Pincus, tells HuffPost. “There’s a lot of literature for connection between creative expression and overall well-being. Whether it’s painting or it’s making music [or baking], there is a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”
  • CAT (culinary art therapy) combines emotional well-being with a very practical real need that we all have,” Julie Ohana, a Michigan-based culinary therapist, tells Munchies. “We all need to eat. And certainly we are all better off if we know and not only feel comfortable in the kitchen, but if we can actually enjoy our food prep time and it makes us a better person.”
  • "Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, the world's leading provider of high-quality fine vanilla and flavor products, published a survey, revealing that Millennials, America's largest generation of adults, "are the most enthusiastic age group when it comes to holiday baking." The data supports a larger trend indicating that Millennials are increasingly pursuing at-home dining experiences with friends and family as a form of personal connection and self-care.
  • According to the survey, while Millennials and Gen-Xers are equally likely to bake during the holidays (87%), more than half of Millennials say they are motivated to bake as a way to spend time with loved ones (59%), the most of any generation. "By comparison, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers reported their highest baking motivation was to enjoy the finished goods."
  • According to Psychologist and neuroscientist Hadley Bergstrom, assistant professor of psychology at Vassar, “Food memories feel so nostalgic because there’s all this context of when you were preparing or eating this food, so the food becomes almost symbolic of other meaning,” Whitbourne says. “A lot of our memories as children, it’s not so much the apple pie, for example, but the whole experience of being a family, being nourished, and that acquires a lot of symbolism apart from the sensory quality.”
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address the stated goals.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • We were able to find, in our first hour of research, some statistics and insights surrounding how people feel about baking and how it makes them feel, along with some demographic data. However, there was no credible study that we found that directly addressed the act of baking with others. Every credible and reliable study we found spoke to the act of baking for themselves (alone) and for others (alone). We found nothing that spoke to baking WITH others. Given this we are suggesting pivoting the research, which will be explained below in the scoping section.
  • Given the large scope of the project, we were unable to address the age groups that are least likely to communicate with one another in a broader sense, the common topics/themes that inter-generational family members talk to each other about and care about, what people 25 and under think about older generations (specifically to see if they consider them relevant), to get an age range breakdown is of the most popular ‘influencers’ in social media, and the common themes people aged 100 and above are talking about online.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.