It makes a difference how you deliver the news. This is an important point regardless of whether you're a parent, teacher, CEO, or advertising guru. These studies show that perception is affected by prior knowledge - whether it's branding in the case of Coke vs. Pepsi, or a placebo effect from people being told they were trying out a new pain-relieving cream.
The first study:"...brand knowledge (at least in the case of Coke in our study) biases preference decisions and recruits the hippocampus, DLPFC, and midbrain...". So taste alone does not affect the choice of Coke over Pepsi - a preconceived preference "had a dramatic influence on expressed behavioral preferences and on the measured brain responses."
Or check out this second study - all the areas of red showed correlated with greater pain than in placebo trials.
So what should be the take home point for education or parenting? Think about how you present information to your kids. Take the time to increase their interest, reduce their fear, or build their curiosity. It's not hype or frill. How you present information influences the quality of information that gets in, and the richness of its memory.
Coke vs Pepsi and fMRI
Placebo Reduces Perception of Pain