A mathematician, an engineer and a psychologist go up to a buffet …  No, it’s not the start of a bad joke.

While most of us would dive into the sandwiches without thinking twice, these diners see a groaning table as a welcome opportunity to advance their research.

Look behind the salads, sausage rolls and bite-size pizzas and it turns out that buffets are a microcosm of greed, sexual politics and altruism – a place where our food choices are driven by factors we’re often unaware of.

Understand the science and you’ll see buffets very differently next time you fill your plate.

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