Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Eating for Joy or Frustration

10.06.2013
Watching TV in the evening: The film being quite sad, you intensely feel for the protagonist – and all of a sudden you have finished off two bags of potato chips. University of Würzburg psychologists now provide an explanation for this eating behavior in the journal PLoS ONE.
How strongly do emotions impact on taste perception? This question has been explored by psychologist Petra Platte and her study group at the University of Würzburg.

The researchers showed the study participants video clips, depicting funny, sad or neutral scenes. Before and after the showing, the study participants were asked to drink liquid samples and rate the intensity of the respective taste – sweet, sour or bitter. They were also asked to assess the fat content of milk on the basis of its taste.
The results showed: People with a penchant for being in a negative mood were no longer able to distinguish between low and high fat content after watching funny or sad video clips. However, they were quite able to recognize the difference in fat content after watching the neutral film scenes or before watching the video clips. Furthermore, these study participants rated the bitter or sweet samples as tasting more intense.

Strong impact of emotions

"With our experiments, we have shown how strongly emotions can modulate our taste perception, which might have significant impact on our eating behavior," says Petra Platte. In her opinion, the study results also explain why some people overindulge in potato chips or other high-fat snacks in front of the TV.

"It is possible that people in a negative mood focus much more of their attention on the film than people in a good or neutral mood when watching emotional scenes," says the Würzburg researcher. As a result, there is no cognitive capacity left for "unimportant tasks", such as the assessment of fat content in food: "The cognitive control over the eating behavior fails, which practically results in automatic eating."

This means that people with frustrations or mild depressions and weight problems might be well advised to fill one portion of chips into a small bowl rather than placing the whole bag on the table when watching TV. Next, the Würzburg researchers are going to determine whether it is effective to give psychological advice to these people.

Platte P, Herbert C, Pauli P, Breslin PAS (2013): Oral Perceptions of Fat and Taste Stimuli Are Modulated by Affect and Mood Induction. PLoS ONE 8(6): e65006. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065006
Go to the online article in PLoS ONE:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0065006

Contact person

PD Dr. Petra Platte, Department of Psychology at the University of Würzburg, T +49 (0)931 31-82121, platte@psychologie.uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

Further reports about: Eating Disorder Frustration PLoS One negative mood video clips weight problem

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>