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Thought for food: Imagined consumption reduces actual consumption

By C.K. Morewedge, Y.E. Huh and J. Vosgerau

Abstract

The consumption of a food typically leads to a decrease in its subsequent intake through habituation - a decrease in one's responsiveness to the food and motivation to obtain it. We demonstrated that habituation to a food item can occur even when its consumption is merely imagined. Five experiments showed that people who repeatedly imagined eating a food (such as cheese) many times subsequently consumed less of the imagined food than did people who repeatedly imagined eating that food fewer times, imagined eating a different food (such as candy), or did not imagine eating a food. They did so because they desired to eat it less, not because they considered it less palatable. These results suggest that mental representation alone can engender habituation to a stimulus

Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1126/science.1195701
OAI identifier: oai:repository.ust.hk:1783.1-55529
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