Bloody hamburgers. Pink chicken. Moldy bread.

We all know these foods are risky and could make us sick, but research has suggested that in certain high-stakes social situations — like dinner with your prospective in-laws or a BBQ at your new boss' house — you may eat them anyway.

Researchers in Norway evaluated 17 different social situations to assess how people felt about the consequences of not eating the food we are served and found that being invited to one's future parents-in-laws for the first time was the situation judged to have the biggest pressure to be polite and not refuse food.

"We might imagine that in this situation the anticipated cost of eating something disliked was weighed against the anticipated cost of being judged impolite, rude, or — in the worst case — as an unsuitable son or daughter-in-law," said Nina Veflen, a professor in the department of marketing at the Norwegian Business School.

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