Now that I am back in classes again, I have to remember that there is a big difference between normal daily thinking and the type of thinking expected in a Master’s level class. Normally, cursory understanding and shallow involvement is all that is necessary to get through a day. How much do you really think about the box of cereal you are about to put in your shopping cart after all? A glance at the calorie levels and a cursory analysis of the potential likeability of the flavor of the product is about it. “Hmm, 110 calories and I like blueberry, it’s a go”. Done.
Now if it were an assignment to analyze the decision about the cereal, you could write a 5 page thesis on the subject, not including reference page, in APA format of course (Where did the American Psychological Association get the ability to dictate how everyone writes a paper anyway?). Start with research on the company that makes the product: is it a company with a good economic and quality rating? Have they had many recalls of their products? Is the packaging design misleading or accurate? Is the packaging harmful to the environment (too much package for too little product) and is the box truly indicative of the amount of product within. I hate it when you open a cookie box and there is a plastic tray inside so there are only a few cookies in a huge box.
Next comes the nutritional value. Is the product whole grain? Or so-called “enriched”. Is it high fat/sugar? Are there trans fats? (Oh, I recently found out that zero trans fat listed on box means less than 1/2 gram. That isn’t zero by my definition. Back to looking for hydrogenated oils again in the ingredient listing). How many calories? High fructose corn syrup?
Then there is price, Is it a good value? Are there other products similar with a better price? Does the store brand taste as good? (Hmm, taste testing coming up).
It is a whole different world, and my husband wonders why I look vaguely at him when he asks me, what do you want for breakfast?