Recent literature suggests that, rather than yielding indulgence, temptations may remind today’s health-conscious consumers of their long term weight goals and assist goal-congruent behavior (i.e., limit consumption). The present studies investigated the influence of weak and strong olfactory food cues on self-regulation processes and eating behavior. The literature suggests two possible outcomes based on counter-active control theory and the critical level model. Results showed that weak olfactory food cues enhanced goal accessibility (Study 1) and boosted the importance of the weight watching goal (Study 2), whereas strong olfactory food cues did not. These findings are in accordance with counteractive control theory. However, the presence of either weak or strong tempting odors did not influence consumption (Study 2). From these results it can be concluded that weak, as compared to strong, olfactory food cues remind health-concerned consumers more of their weight watching goal
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