Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pictures Of Hot Fudge Sundaes Arouse: Understanding Emotions Improves Our Food Choices

Date:
September 19, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Menus and advertising affect our emotions, and if we understand those emotions, we make better food choices, according to a new study.

Pictures of hot fudge sundaes arouse consumers.
Credit: iStockphoto/Franklin Lugenbeel

Menus and advertising affect our emotions, and if we understand those emotions, we make better food choices, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Authors Blair Kidwell, David M. Hardesty, and Terry L. Childers (all University of Kentucky) examined the "emotional intelligence" of consumers, including obese people. They found that people who made the healthiest choices had high correlations between their emotional intelligence and confidence in their emotional intelligence—what the authors call "emotional calibration."

"When perusing a restaurant menu, many consumers may not be aware of the subtle implicit feelings of arousal elicited by visually appealing presentations of unhealthy food choices," the authors write. Faced with choices between healthy and unhealthy food options, individuals who are confident that they can appropriately interpret and employ their emotions, but who do not actually possess these emotional abilities, are likely to make low-quality decisions."

In the first of two studies, the authors measured emotional ability, confidence, and nutritional knowledge. They asked participants to plan meals from a menu with a wide range of options—some healthier than others. They found that people with emotional miscalibration chose foods higher in calories, even more so than people with low levels of nutritional knowledge.

In the second study, obese individuals conducted an online survey. The researchers found that among obese people, emotional miscalibration leaves them susceptible to impulsive eating triggered by vivid pictures of food.

These results may be helpful in finding ways to help overeaters regain control. Since emotional calibration can reduce obese people's impulsive eating, encouraging emotional calibration may be useful in improving these consumers' food choices and overall health

"Specifically, we have found that possessing greater ability (for both low and high confidence groups) is necessary and fundamental to better decisions. However, we find that consumers must also possess sufficient levels of heightened confidence to capitalize on those abilities," the authors conclude.


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. Kidwell et al. Emotional Calibration Effects on Consumer Choice. Journal of Consumer Research, December 2008; 080822100129612 DOI: 10.1086/591107

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Pictures Of Hot Fudge Sundaes Arouse: Understanding Emotions Improves Our Food Choices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170751.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2008, September 19). Pictures Of Hot Fudge Sundaes Arouse: Understanding Emotions Improves Our Food Choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170751.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Pictures Of Hot Fudge Sundaes Arouse: Understanding Emotions Improves Our Food Choices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080915170751.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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