This isn't an article, but there is a chapter in the book The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell that discusses a concept that Walt Disney referred to as "weenies" in reference to dog handlers holding up a hot dog to control where the dog is looking. The most famous weenie Disney used was the castle in the Magic Kingdom; visitors to that theme park were inexorably drawn toward the center by the castle visible right from the entrance and throughout the park. In the book, Schell talks about using this technique in the Magic Carpet VR ride by painting a stripe on the floor to guide player's to the throne.
More generally, a "weenie" is anything that draws the player's attention. Once their attention is drawn in that direction, they tend to move in that direction. One of the best ways to draw attention is to place a desired item over there. Your example of the bananas falls under this; a lot of games will put gems or ammo or health packs on the path they want the player to take. In fact, the bananas in Donkey Kong Country are discussed at length in a couple articles on http://www.sirlin.net/
Most of the other ways to draw the player's attention are specific examples of using contrast. For example, a bright spot in a mostly dark level will draw the player's attention. Similarly, a sudden change in the audio will draw the player's attention. If you think about those old Hannah Barbera cartoons then you'll recall how a different colored bush (or something in the scenery) told you something was about to happen there.
When done sparingly, it can be fun to play with this trope. For example, when the player is suspicious that the desired item or differently colored door is tricking them into taking a more dangerous path. You don't want to overdo that though, or the player will feel like the level designer is just a sadist.
ADDITION: Oh yeah and enemies can be placed to guide the player. Enemies are an interesting sort of guidance tool because they can be either attractive (the player tends to go towards the enemies) or repellent (the player tends to avoid the enemies) depending on context. How powerful the player is relative to the enemies, what kind of reward the player gets for defeating the enemies, etc. are all factors affecting how enemies affect the player's choices.