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Since most of us are doing our Christmas shopping this week, we should know that stores are subtly influencing our purchases.

In a store called Once Famous, researchers study customers from behind one-way mirrors?but they?re not looking for shoplifters. While the store works like a regular retail outlet and makes a small profit, it?s really a laboratory for the company FAME, which uses social science techniques to study consumers’ shopping habits for major retailers, including Target and Marshall Fields. A blinking light at the store entrance warns customers they’re being monitored for research purposes.
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