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It's the last bite that keeps you coming back for more
Date:6/11/2014

Your memory for that last bite of a steak or chocolate cake may be more influential than memory for the first bite in determining when you want to eat it again, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Our memories for foods are often vivid, especially when we experience foods that are terrifyingly bad or delightfully good. The findings from this research shed light on how memories for food are formed and how they guide our decisions about how soon we're willing to eat a food again.

"Research has told us a lot about factors that influence what foods people want to consume, but less is known about factors that influence when they want to consume a particular food again," explains researcher and lead author Emily Garbinsky of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

"Companies profit not only from the sale of food items but also from how frequently those particular items are sold, and the impact of eating both healthy and unhealthy foods on people's health is determined not only by how much they eat but how often those foods are eaten," says Garbinsky. "As such, it seemed important to get a better understanding of what influences the amount of time that passes until consumption is repeated."

Garbinsky and colleagues Carey Morewedge of the Boston University School of Management and Baba Shiv of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business investigated the question in a series of studies.

In one study, the researchers asked 134 undergraduate students to sample 3 flavors of Nut Thin crackers and then choose one to eat. They were then given a specific number of crackers and were asked to rate how much they enjoyed each one after they ate it.

The results revealed that students who had eaten the larger portion (15 crackers) reported significantly lower enjoyment at the end than those who had eaten the smaller portio
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Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

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