"A treat is generally something that tantalizes the senses or is something refreshing from the ordinary in life."
Thats one way of looking at it...
What I am getting at is that people create perceptions around treats. So lets say a treat is exactly as you say it is. Now what if I make an agreement or perception that because treats stimulate the senses... that this makes them better than other things.
Like saying "work sucks"... now I might not think work is a treat in the way it tantelizes. But that doesnt mean "work" actually "sucks", it just means that work isnt stimulating. Or I like the taste of apples better than oranges... so oranges are better than apples. Apples and oranges are both just fruit... one is not better than another... however I believe that we do make these associations subconciously.
Same could be said about junkfood. I like junkfood better than regular food... or "health food". Therefore junkfood is better than "health food", therefore I want to eat junkfood more than I would want to eat health food.
So when I see a starbucks... put a poster up saying to "treat myself". I see several things.... first it implies that starbucks is a treat... second it implies that I am entitled to a treat. So IF I have the agreement that starbucks coffee is a treat... then chances are I will buy it. However if I subconciously made an agreement that starbucks coffee is the best... I might drink it daily, not even realizing why. And getting upset when I cant have it anymore, because subconciously I still think its the best.