Navigation Links
Comfort food fallacy: Upheaval leads to less-familiar choices

You'd think in times of uncertainty, people would gravitate toward familiar favorites. But a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that stress and upheaval actually lead people to choose less-familiar foods over "comfort foods."

"Most of us can name our favorite 'comfort foods' and believe that we are most prone to seek them out during times of stress and upheaval," writes author Stacy Wood (University of South Carolina). "Contrary to this well-engrained belief, this research shows the surprising result that our choices of old favorites happen at the opposite times that we predict."

In the first study, participants were told about a person who was described as either being in an extremely stable life situation or in the midst of many changes. Researchers asked them to predict whether these people would choose a popular American potato chip or an unknown British potato "crisp" in exotic flavors like Camembert and Plum. The participants thought the stable person would have more time and energy to try new things and would choose the new item.

Then in a separate choice study, researchers asked participants to rate the level of change in their own lives and then to choose snacks. Those experiencing more change chose the newer snacks. "This result is called the 'comfort food fallacy' effect. It does not say that comfort foods are not enjoyable, but rather that we don't seem to seek them out when we think we do. Contrary to our expectations, comfort foods appear to be chosen more often in comfortable times."

The results also carried over to non-food options, such as song downloads and movies. And, in a final study, the author found that by manipulating the perceived level of change in a person's life, the likelihood of choosing a new item was also manipulated.

The study has broad implications for people contemplating life changes. "Many people believe they shouldn't try too many new things at once. For example, they may believe that a time of change is not a good time to start a new exercise program. This research suggests that a time of change (new job, new town, new situation) may be an ideal time to adopt desired changes because we are inherently more open to new options then," Wood concludes.


Contact: Mary-Ann Twist
University of Chicago Press Journals

Related medicine news :

1. Arcadia HealthCares DailyMed(TM) Signs Deal with Comfort Keepers(R), A Leading Provider of In-Home Care
2. Breast CT Scanner Could Improve Cancer Screen Comfort
3. Living Green Marketplace Announces the Cancer Care Wellness Box to Bring Comfort to Cancer Patients During Medical Treatment
4. New HemCon/Seal-On Nasal Plugs Control Nosebleeds Quickly, Effectively and Comfortably
5. Coapt Systems, Inc. Launches Hydrelle(TM) a New, FDA-Approved Dermal Filler with Lidocaine for Significant Wrinkle Correction and Greater Patient Comfort
6. Unique Facility Designed for the Comfort of Hospice Patients and Their Families
7. Unique Facility Designed for the Comfort of Hospice Patients and Their Families
8. ICM Controls' Award-Winning Comfort Control Center Improves Comfort and Indoor Air Quality While Lowering Energy Costs
9. McRoskey Mattress Company Comforts Homeless/Low-Income Residents of San Franciscos Canon Barcus Community House With Bed Donation
10. For Men Over 50, Odds of Eye Discomfort Increases
11. Comfort Matters - The new Draeger Series of Filtering Facepiece Respirators Demonstrate Exceptional Wearer Comfort
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg ... Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among ... Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent ... “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, Binder, ... Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 Billion ... forecast period 2016 to 2021. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: