Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Impulsive Eater? Remembering Failures May Help Curb Eating

Date:
September 16, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
When it comes to tempting or fattening foods, some people are a lot more impulsive than others. And according to a new study, impulsive people think and act differently than non-impulsive people after they remember a time when they resisted or succumbed to temptation.

Remember when you pigged out on birthday cake? If you're an impulsive eater, that memory might help you choose a fruit salad next time around.

When it comes to tempting or fattening foods, some people are a lot more impulsive than others. And according to a new study, impulsive people think and act differently than non-impulsive people after they remember a time when they resisted or succumbed to temptation.

Authors Anirban Mukhopadhyay (University of Michigan), Jaideep Sengupta (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), and Suresh Ramanathan (University of Chicago) assessed the impulsivity of participants in four related studies. They had participants recall instances where they gave in to temptation or resisted it. In addition to making hypothetical food choices, participants also had opportunities to eat cookies or cheeseballs—without knowing their consumption was being tracked. In the case of impulsive people, "…thinking about failure may actually beget success," write the authors.

"We propose and find that chronically non-impulsive individuals display behavior consistency over time—resisting when they recall having resisted earlier. In contrast, impulsive individuals show a switching pattern, resisting current temptations if they recall having succumbed, and vice versa," write the authors.

"So what is it that makes people succumb to temptation, time after sinful time? We suggest that the likelihood of a repeat act of indulgence depends on what people recall doing the previous time they were faced with a similar choice," the authors write. "In general, chronically impulsive people are more likely to feel this conflict between the two forces—of giving in and holding back, while those who tend to be less impulsive are also less likely to experience such a struggle."

The results of this study suggest ways to improve the health of both impulsive and non-impulsive consumers. Both groups did a better job of resisting temptation when they recalled past instances of resisting temptation along with their reasons for resisting.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mukhopadhyay et al. Recalling Past Temptations: An Information‐Processing Perspective on the Dynamics of Self‐Control. Journal of Consumer Research, December 2008; 080812162241439 DOI: 10.1086/591105

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Impulsive Eater? Remembering Failures May Help Curb Eating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170743.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, September 16). Impulsive Eater? Remembering Failures May Help Curb Eating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170743.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Impulsive Eater? Remembering Failures May Help Curb Eating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170743.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins