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Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 www.elsevier.com/locate/appet
Sources of positive and negative emotions in food experience
Pieter M.A. DesmetÃ, Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein
Department of Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands Received 20 June 2006; received in revised form 24 July 2007; accepted 17 August 2007
Abstract Emotions experienced by healthy individuals in response to tasting or eating food were examined in two studies. In the ﬁrst study, 42 participants reported the frequency with which 22 emotion types were experienced in everyday interactions with food products, and the conditions that elicited these emotions. In the second study, 124 participants reported the extent to which they experienced each emotion type during sample tasting tests for sweet bakery snacks, savoury snacks, and pasta meals. Although all emotions occurred from time to time in response to eating or tasting food, pleasant emotions were reported more often than unpleasant ones. Satisfaction, enjoyment, and desire were experienced most often, and sadness, anger, and jealousy least often. Participants reported a wide variety of eliciting conditions, including statements that referred directly to sensory properties and experienced consequences, and statements that referred to more indirect conditions, such as expectations and associations. Five different sources of food emotions are proposed to represent the various reported eliciting conditions: sensory attributes, experienced consequences, anticipated consequences, personal or cultural meanings, and actions of associated agents. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Emotion; Food experience; Tasting; Sample testing
Introduction A person’s motivation to eat and the quantity, frequency, and choice of food intake are affected by variables not necessarily directly related to his or her physiological needs or the nutritive value of the food (Booth, 1994). It is generally acknowledged that human eating behaviour, which is inﬂuenced by cues from foods, the body, and the social and physical environment, is affected by and associated with emotions. The relationships between food, eating behaviour, characteristics of the individual, and emotions have been studied from various angles and with a wide variety of methods. These studies can be classiﬁed in two basic types: studies that focus on the effects of emotion on eating behaviour versus studies that focus on the effects of eating behaviour on emotion. The ﬁrst type of study investigates the effects of people’s feeling states on food preferences, food consumption, and the characteristics of eating behaviour (see Canetti, Bachar,
E-mail address: email@example.com (P.M.A. Desmet). 0195-6663/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2007.08.003
& Berry, 2002; Ganley, 1989; Greeno & Wing, 1994 for reviews). For instance, in a questionnaire study, Macht (1999) examined the effects of anger, fear, sadness, and joy on a number of eating characteristics. Participants were asked to imagine themselves in these emotional states, and then reported for each emotion to what extent 33 eatingrelated statements matched their state. The degree of agreement with these statements, which were related to included feelings, cognitions, and behavioural tendencies, were rated on seven-point scales. For anger, participants reported to experience an increase of impulsive eating (i.e. fast, irregular and careless eating directed at any type of food available), whereas for joy participants reported to experience an increase of hedonic eating (i.e. a tendency to eat in order to enjoy food). Lyman (1982) demonstrated similar effects of emotion qualities on food preferences. His participants reported a greater tendency to consume healthy foods during positive emotions and a greater tendency to consume junk food during negative emotions. A study by Mehrabian (1980) focused on the relationship between emotional states and the amount of food intake. Higher food consumption was reported during boredom,
1988). 2001). the few studies that did measure distinct emotions have demonstrated that solutions of tastants and food stimuli also inﬂuence the nature of one’s feeling state. 1997). 2001). 1988). 2005. salty. Measuring distinct emotions instead of general valence responses is of particular interest to those who aim to study the experience of food emotion in the context of everyday life. surprise. Salty and sour solutions were associated with all emotions. for example. but also an evaluation of the social and situational circumstances in which the emotion is experienced (Barrett. It remains unclear to what extent the emotions that have been measured in the previous food studies represent the variety of emotions that are generally experienced in response to food or food intake. many emotion theorists work with emotion sets that are balanced for valence and represent a wider variety of emotions. fear. sour. guilt. A second issue that remains unclear is related to the internal and external conditions that underlie and inﬂuence food emotions that are experienced in everyday life. and Vernet-Maury (2000) found a signiﬁcant stimulus effect on the distribution of associations over the emotions happiness. such as the nutritional state (time since last meal. Macht et al. also termed ‘mood control eating’ (Booth. these sets represent only a small part of the variety in emotions that human beings generally experience in daily life (Scherer. Several studies have demonstrated an effect of taste quality on affect (see Bolles. Roth. 1999. joy. the present studies explored both the food-related and the context-related stimulus conditions associated with emotional responses elicited by food and food intake. ¨ 1991). and lower food intake was reported during fear.
. 1993. An example of emotion regulating eating is a person who decides to eat ice-cream in order to relieve sadness. preparing. In addition. we expect more than only the basic emotions to be relevant. for example. consuming. (2005) proposed that affective food responses can best be understood as responses to conﬁgurations of stimuli of which the food itself is only a single component. Although most studies focus on general valence (i. hungriness. Ortony. tension. Macht & Simons. 1991. emotions evoked by food may depend on the internal state of the individual. like the thought that eating chocolate had an unwanted effect on slimness and body weight. multi-component perspective on hedonic eating. Patel and Schlundt (2001). guilt appeared to be induced by negative thoughts associated with eating chocolate. and sharing food (Bourdieu. & Gross. Participants rated the extent
to which anger. like the social interaction during eating and social activities associated with eating (e. 2005. boredom. Pudel & Westenhofer. Ortony et al. propose that positive affect may increase food intake via an associative learning mechanism where happiness has been associated with eating more food.J. Compared with low arousal states. whereas the bitter solution was mainly associated with anger and disgust. mood. & Ellgring. Macht and Dettmer (2006). including also emotions like admiration.. Rousmans. Signiﬁcant effects were found only for the emotions joy and guilt: whereas joy was elicited by the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate. pleasant versus unpleasant experience). the pleasure of eating has been found to depend on features of the physical environment.M. Given the fact that food intake is submerged in personal daily routines and elaborate social rituals.e. sadness. examined the emotional changes women experienced after eating a chocolate bar in everyday life. such as acquiring. or thirstiness). disgust. Ekman. The inﬂuence of emotions on the quantity and quality of consumed food is often explained by two conceptually different effects: emotion-congruent eating versus emotion regulating eating (Christensen. The second type of investigation focuses on the effects of taste and food intake on people’s feeling states. First of all. First. The sweet solution was mainly associated with happiness and surprise. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 291
depression. 1988. like the table setting and lighting. & Collins. The emotion-congruent modulation effect implies that positive emotions increase and negative emotions decrease the motivation to eat and the pleasures of eating.. This is because the actual experience of an emotion does not only represent the positive or negative evaluation of the stimulus itself. Following a holistic. Emotion regulation eating implies that a person starts to eat in order to decrease an unpleasant feeling state. high arousal states were seen as inhibiting food consumption. Patel and Schlundt (2001) found that meals eaten in positive and negative moods were signiﬁcantly larger than meals eaten in a neutral mood. and relief (e. fear. Robin.g. conserving. Dittmar. 2002. The emotions measured in the studies discussed above were drawn from small sets of basic emotions that have been assembled in evolutionary psychology (e. 2000). & Roth. For that reason. Plutchik.A. Second. For two reasons these sets have been claimed to be of limited use to general emotion research (Frijda. Clore. Ochsner. reﬂecting more variable taste associations. and overall physical state (ﬁtness or fatigue). 1980). sadness.g. Richins. Macht.g. Therefore. 1986.ARTICLE IN PRESS
P. 2007). Mesquita. they show a disproportionate amount of unpleasant emotions. and loneliness matched their present state. Meininger. 1988) and to consumer emotion research (Laros & Steenkamp. Roseman. and social factors.. Desmet. and that a positive mood had a stronger impact on food intake than a negative mood. and pain. it was demonstrated that newborns experience positive affect to sweet solutions dropped on their tongue.N. Macht. and anger. 1984). Typically only one pleasant emotion is identiﬁed for every three or four unpleasant emotions (Ellsworth & Smith. and bitter. using solutions that represent the primary taste qualities sweet. Macht et al. hope. Macht. For example. 1972. and fatigue. 1994). For example. H. 2005 for reviews). and is connected to various behaviours. and negative affect to bitter solutions (Rosenstein & Oster. The present study aims to explore the variety of emotions that can be experienced in response to food and food intake.
love. They were students at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering of Delft University of Technology. all emotions were rated on relevance for eating or tasting food on a ﬁve-point scale ranging from 1 ¼ ‘‘never’’ (I never experience this emotion in response to eating or tasting food) to 5 ¼ ‘‘very often’’ (I very often experience this emotion in response to eating or tasting food). In the third part. If they were not able to produce an example. like hunger. desire. To have ample variation in internal states. participants reported one or more instances in which they had experienced each of the 22 emotions in response to tasting or eating food. Emotions that produced most examples are amusement. love. Results Emotion relevance The mean relevance ratings indicate that all selected emotions can be experienced in response to food. and contempt. Questionnaire A questionnaire was developed that consisted of four parts. Unpleasant emotions that were experienced most often are boredom. desire. and enjoyment (fourth and eight columns of Table 1). and boredom. The second and sixth columns of Table 1 show that pleasant emotions were reported to be experienced more often than unpleasant emotions. they were allowed to skip the emotion. Desmet (2002). Categorisation of eliciting conditions For all emotions. relief. In addition. anger. H. None of the participants reported to suffer from any eating disorders or health problems associated with food.A.J. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301
Two questions were addressed: (1) Which emotions do healthy people generally experience in response to eating and tasting food in everyday life? (2) What types of internal and external conditions are responsible for these emotions? The ﬁrst study employed a questionnaire with which participants reported the frequency with which they experienced each of 22 emotions in response to food. and fatigue. satisfaction.. This system is similar to one developed for emotions experienced in response to durable consumer products (Desmet. satisfaction. and dissatisfaction. In the second part. Emotion types A set of 19 basic emotions was assembled by combining the typologies of Ekman (1972). joy. They were recruited from the university cafeteria and they were paid for their participation. jealousy. and Ortony et al. satisfaction. SD ¼ 2. The last part of the questionnaire included general questions about eating habits that were used to identify participants with eating disorders or health problems associated with food. fear. and desire. Participants were allowed to ﬁll out the questionnaire in as much time as they needed. hope.g. developed a typology that included the additional emotions dissatisfaction. mood.N. and emotions experienced least often are pride. Procedure The test was completed individually in a neutral room. The total set of 22 emotions included 11 pleasant and 11 unpleasant emotions: pleasant surprise. amusement. The second study used a sampletesting procedure in which participants reported to what extent they experienced each of 22 emotions in response to tasting these foods from several categories. All examples were categorised with the use of a coding system.1) participated. The test was performed every hour between 9 AM and 9 PM to even out effects of internal conditions that are related to time. To ensure completeness. pride. although some seem to be more common than others. unpleasant surprise. (1988). contentment/fulﬁlment). In order to customise coding variables for the current application. stimulation. boredom. Participants
also explained why their examples elicited the particular emotion type. disappointment. and admiration. they provided examples of instances in which food elicited these emotions. disgust. Lazarus (1991). After entering the room. shame. contempt. The 22 emotions were printed together with two other examples of emotion words that represented the same emotion type (e. This was done to put them in a food experience mindset. and emotions experienced least often are jealousy. The lowest numbers of examples were reported for the emotions jealousy. ﬁve examples of each emotion were examined before coding the responses. sadness. and one of the ﬁve randomly selected questionnaire versions was handed out. 21 female) between 21 and 28 years of age (M ¼ 24. sadness. anger. who showed that consumer products regularly elicited some emotions that were not included in these emotion typologies. admiration.3. 2002). Desmet. anger. enjoyment. Study 1 Method Participants Forty-two Dutch students (21 male. These data were not used any further.ARTICLE IN PRESS
292 P. and sadness. participants provided examples of remembered experiences. a short and formalised verbal instruction was given. and all ﬁnished the task within 30 min. hope. participants reported as many food items as they could remember having eaten during the preceding 24 h. and dissatisfaction. disappointment. Pleasant emotions that were experienced most often are satisfaction.
. In the ﬁrst part. the studies were conducted during a large part of the day (between 9 AM and 9 PM). these three emotions were added to the set of 19 emotions.M. Five versions of the questionnaire were made with each a different randomised emotion order. desire.
candy. cola.66 1. After adjusting the coding system. champagne. such as a sensory property or a physical or mental consequence of eating the product. peeling. tomato soup Sauce. i.88 0. pizzas.45 293
The resulting system distinguishes between ﬁve variables: product aspect.85 0. Comments on temperature.48 1. and toughness were coded as ‘tactility’.98 Emotion Boredom Disappointment Dissatisfaction Disgust Unpleasant surprise Shame Contempt Fear Sadness Anger Jealousy M 2. cod. product type. French fries. milk. chocolate cake Crisps.71 SD 0. mussels Cookie.07 1. tasty Colour. ice cream. hamburger. she cooked. odour. pudding Chocolate. hamburgers.29 3. cutting. cook They eat. will keep me healthy. chicken soup.05 3. beans. parents’ house. manufacturer I make. quality (23. pasta sauce. Part of the between-coder inconsistency was resolved by detailing the coding system.79 0. spoilt. seafood and snails were coded as ‘ﬁsh’.52 2.93 1. H. cheese cookie.88 1. sports drink Beer.26 0.9%).95 0. carrots. liquorice.86 Unpleasant emotions M ¼ 1. quality Quenched my thirst.86 0. The remaining disagreements were resolved by discussing each item among the two coders.19 1. Table 3 shows the categories that were mentioned at least six times for each emotion and variable. and consequence of the food (14. shape Mouth feeling Unhealthy.25 1.99 1. bell peppers Steak.52 2.31 1. price-quality ratio. An example is a participant who ‘hoped to stay healthy because of the fruit.93 0. For the ‘product type’ variable. strawberries. tasting When I am at a party.13 0. will make me fat Mashed potatoes.60 M # examples 0.92 0.02 1. consumer
.93 0.31 SD 0. goat cheese French fries.95 1. vegetables.73 1. An example is a participant who felt stimulated after drinking coffee. The variable ‘activity’ was used to code activities associated with food.ARTICLE IN PRESS
P.A.82 0.52 3.71 1. In some cases participants did not refer to actual consequences but to expected or anticipated consequences. gravy. The variable ‘product aspect’ was used to code cases in which participants referred to a particular aspect of the product. sports club Reminds me of. such as preparing and producing. The between-coder agreement was 73% (disagreement on 492 of 1848 coded categories).73 0. he prepared.6%. wine. With respect to the ‘product aspect’ variable it was decided to code comments on freshness. espresso.67 0. dressing Yogurt. When someone explained that an emotion was experienced when consuming food at parties.38 2.98 0. appearance. I once experienced Factory.05 3. healthy. Desmet. butter Produced. the between-coder agreement was 87% (disagreement on 240 of 1848 coded categories).10 2. or chocolate. liver Fish. and sushi was coded as ‘main meal’.J.77 0.17 0. healthiness. hot spiciness.13 1. with friends In the morning. manufactured Preparing. water. salads were coded as ‘vegetables’.’ The variable ‘product type’ was used to code particular types of food.00 0. kiwi. prepares. and burnt food as ‘quality’. meat.00 2. Frequencies are shown between parentheses. looks. Two independent coders coded all responses. The variable ‘agent’ refers to the person who eats.60 1.71 0. and cheese fondue were coded as ‘fast food’.93 3. fast food Soup..05 2. tea.85 0.e. salted nuts.
Table 2 Coding system for reported food emotions Variable Product aspect Category Taste and smell Appearance Tactility Quality (Anticipated) consequences Product type Main meal Coffee and tea Non-alcoholic drinks Alcoholic drinks Fruit Vegetables Meat Fish Sweet snack Chocolate Savoury snack Cheese Fast food Soup Sauce Dairy products Activity Growing and producing Preparing Eating Social event Consumption moment Location Memory Manufacturer Cook Consumer Examples Taste. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 Table 1 Mean relevance ratings and mean number of examples given for 22 emotion types in relation to tasting or eating food Pleasant emotions M ¼ 3. orange Cauliﬂower.11 M # examples 1. pizza. this was coded within the ‘context’ variable as a ‘social event’.98 0. meal Coffee.M. cooking Drinking. activity.02 0. producer.81 2.31 Emotion Satisfaction Enjoyment Desire Amusement Love Stimulation Pleasant surprise Relief Admiration Hope Pride M 4.94 0. smell. he drinks.N. pork.07 3.99 1. eating.93 0. cappuccino Soda. salmon.98 0. bacon.00 0. or produces the food. at midnight Restaurant.88 0. whiskey Banana. fruit.90 1. such as meat.26 1. peanuts Cheese. context. green tea. and agent (Table 2).60 3. The product aspects that were mentioned most frequently are taste and smell (41.38 3.00 1.3%). lamb.
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294 P. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 Table 3 Categories with frequency of six or higher for 22 emotions
Emotion Coded variables Product aspect Satisfaction Taste and smell (13) Consequence (8) Quality (6) Taste and smell (7) Appearance (7) Taste and smell (18) Product type Main meal (21) Coffee and tea (6) Sweet snack (17) Alcohol (9) Sweet snack (14) Chocolate (7) Fruit (6) Sweet snack (19) Main meal (11) Alcohol (9) Savoury snack (8) Taste and smell (18) Main meal (10) Alcohol (9) Chocolate (9) Fruit (8) Sweet snack (6) Main meal (8) Non-alcohol (6) Sweet snack (8) Meat (7) Chocolate (6) Non-alcohol (20) Main meal (7) Main meal (13) Meat (8) Main meal (12) Chocolate (8) Sweet snack (7) Taste and smell (11) Main meal (16) Alcohol (6) Main meal (23) Sweet snack (6) Taste and smell (16) Quality (15) Taste and smell (14) Quality (12) Tactile (6) Quality (6) Taste and smell (12) Tactile (8) Quality (8) Quality (7) Consequence (7) Quality (14) Consequence (10) Quality (6) Main meal (7) Main meal (20) Vegetables (12) Meat (6) Main meal (11) Eating (9) Eating (13) Preparing (6) Activity Eating (6) Context Consumption moment (8) Agent
Social event (7) Consumption moment (6)
Social event (13)
Social event (8)
Stimulation Pleasant surprise
Consequence (7) Taste and smell (24)
Eating (9) Eating (7)
Relief Admiration Hope
Consequence (15) Taste and smell (11) Appearance (8)
Eating (22) Preparing (16) Eating (6)
Consumption moment (19) Cook (16) Consumption moment (11) Social event (9) Cook (21) Consumer (6)
Preparing (21) Eating (6) Eating (6) Eating (3) Preparing (6) Location (9)
Boredom Disappointment Dissatisfaction Disgust Unpleasant surprise Shame
Fast food (7) Chocolate (7) Main meal (6) Main meal (8) Meat (8) Fish (8) Main meal (7)
Contempt Fear Sadness Anger Jealousy
Preparing (6) Eating (12) Eating (7) Preparing (13) Memory (8)
Quality (11) Taste and smell (6)
Main meal (11)
Cook (11) Consumer (11)
1%) and consumption moments (28.8% anticipated consequence). Forty-one participants
Table 4 Examples for each emotion type Emotion Satisfaction Examples People associate satisfaction with the consequence of eating a heavy meal. One can hope for actually eating the food (‘‘chocolate mousse. and meat products Most participants reported relief as a consequence of drinking non-alcoholic beverages when they are thirsty (‘‘a glass of coke. physical or social contexts. associations with party.2%). Direct causes are properties of the food. Method Participants One hundred and twenty-four Dutch students in Industrial Design Engineering between 19 and 28 years of age (M ¼ 23. snow’’). colourful’’) or with food that looks good (‘‘strawberries. sweet snacks. alcoholic drinks. In general. peaches).’’ ‘‘vegetables with beautiful colours’’). which is very difﬁcult to prepare’’).8% experienced consequence and 10. strawberries.M. duck. sweet.3%). or deer’’). chocolate. and chocolate. before you eat it. and friends’’). Relief is associated with particular events.2%). Especially the taste (‘‘cinnamon ice-cream. SD ¼ 1. relaxing. special’’) Participants are stimulated by the consequences of foods that are refreshing (‘‘apples are refreshing’’). Table 4 illustrates that when people reported the causes of the emotions experienced in response to food. In some cases participants reported to be amused by food that is fun to eat or prepare (‘‘omelette Siberienne. People both admire the taste (‘‘ﬁgs with powdered sugar in the oven with honey-vanilla sauce is delicious’’) and the appearance (‘‘sushi because it looks beautiful’’) of food Hope is often associated with social events (‘‘pasta with meat sauce. Enjoyment is also associated with alcoholic drinks (‘‘beer is fun’’).e. or caffeinated (‘‘after drinking coffee’’). such as particular events. Often mentioned agents are cooks (61. and meat (6. ‘‘mandarins. winter. like feeling energised or satiated. they referred to both direct and associated causes.ARTICLE IN PRESS
P.8%) and preparing food (36. because you can put it on ﬁre’’) The emotion love is associated with eating main meals.N. or hope for a particular consequence of eating the food (‘‘I hope to stay healthy by eating fresh vegetables’’)
Stimulation Pleasant Surprise
. being fulﬁlled (‘‘when I am full and satiated after dinner’’). and alcoholic drinks.5%). nice to share it with someone’’. ‘‘beer. and in response to sweet fruit (e. when you look forward to it’’).3%). Table 4 gives an overview of holistic descriptions of the eliciting conditions for each emotion. such as in the morning (‘‘ﬁrst coffee in the morning. and with pleasurable social events (‘‘drinking wine with friends or parents’’) Participants reported desire in response to sweet snacks and chocolate (‘‘chocolate is very tasty. H. Foods that are typically associated with hope are sweet snacks and chocolate (especially a chocolate egg with a toy inside). fruit. and thoughts associated with the food. because it tastes so good’’) or the smell (‘‘French fries. tastes good on a sandwich’’) or by an unexpected combination of ingredients (‘‘chicken with mango and yogurt sauce.4%). such as high-quality meat (‘‘special food. such as sports activities (‘‘water. i. Associated causes are all kinds of meanings. people love the taste of these foods (‘‘lasagne. memories. take some time to wake up’’) One can admire the cook for his or her craftsmanship in preparing a meal (‘‘a good tofu dish. Food types mentioned are savoury and sweet snacks. mango. and the experienced consequences of eating the
food. surprising combination’’). These descriptions are based on the results in Table 3 combined with quoted statements of participants. Products that often elicit stimulation are non-alcoholic drinks Participants are pleasantly surprised by an unexpected good taste (‘‘blood sausage.8) participated. Desmet.9%).g. and the behaviour of the cook.3%) and consumers (29. and I can crave for that’’). this is one of my favourite dishes’’). looks disgusting and does not smell good.6%). In some cases participants love social events (‘‘red wine. like taste and smell. Important contextual factors are social events (30. like beefsteak. because they taste like Santa Claus. This satisfaction is often associated with a particular time (‘‘when I am late for dinner and am very hungry’’).A. sweet snacks (14. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 295
3. for the big thirst’’). chocolate (7. Study 2 Study 2 explored to what extent the 22 emotions are reported to be experienced during a sample-tasting procedure. after or during sports activities’’) or consumption times. The products that evoke this emotion most often are sweet snacks. taste good and have nice colour. I can long for that when I smell them’’) of the food evokes desire Amusement is often associated with the social context of eating food (‘‘cotton candy. The product types mentioned most often are main meals (26. spicy (‘‘spicy tastes stimulate’’). to drink and talk together’’) or rituals (‘‘ﬁrst cold sip of beer after a long warm day’’) associated with food. In some cases love is reported for luxurious products (‘‘lobster. status symbol ingredients. The activities that were mentioned most often are eating (60. often before we go out. Satisfaction is also experienced in response to the quality of the food (‘‘healthy foods like vegetables’’) and in response to the smell and taste of food (‘‘tasty plate of pasta’’) Enjoyment is often associated with sweet snacks (‘‘cotton candy. alcoholic drinks (8.J.. imagined or anticipated consequences of eating the food. Admiration is also related to exclusive. you look forward to that’’.2.
vegetables. belongs to the upper class’’) P. I spitted that out!’’) Participants are unpleasantly surprised when eating spoilt food (‘‘milk that has gone bad’’) or by an unexpected bad taste (‘‘chocolate with unexpected bad ﬁllings’’). the savoury snack test. afterwards still hungry’’) Food types that elicit disgust most often are vegetables (‘‘Brussels sprouts. but the taste is so good’’). a pilot study
was performed with 30 samples (10 for each set) that were bought at a local supermarket. or unappreciated tactile quality (‘‘tofu. fear for my health’’). that is something special’’). like unhealthy snack food (‘‘greasy food. especially insects or organs (‘‘eating insects.N. or of the consequence of what they eat (‘‘too much candy. bad taste (‘‘I don’t like the taste of mustard’’). H. the sample with the lowest mean ranking. Dissatisfaction is typically associated with eating in a restaurant. or bad quality (‘‘chocolate chips with little meads in it. how is someone able to eat that?’’) and meat products (‘‘liver. Another reason for experiencing anger is when someone did not do a good job preparing the food (‘‘hotdog at the station was so bad.A. low quality (‘‘low quality take out dinner’’). typical Dutch food. Table 5 gives an overview of the properties of the selected samples.’’ ‘‘eyes of the cow’’).’’ ‘‘spaghetti because it is slippery’’). when driving a car’’) Most participants experience disappointment when the taste of the food is worse than expected (‘‘ﬁsh. meat. In the second case. To ensure a wide range of emotional responses. it gave me a bad taste in my mouth’’) One can be jealous of the food someone else is eating (‘‘in restaurants when someone else has ordered something that is more tasty than what I have ordered’’) or of exclusive status symbol products (‘‘caviar. Pasta meal samples were prepared according to the instructions on the package. and as a result the entire dinner tasted burnt’’). plastic containers closed with non-transparent lids. Note that in some cases the product was used as a remedy against sadness (‘‘whiskey. fries. it will make you fat’’) or cheap. when the quality is below expectations (‘‘something that doesn’t taste good in a restaurant’’). Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301
Unpleasant surprise Shame
performed the sweet snack test (56% female). people are proud of preparing meals that are difﬁcult or time-consuming to prepare (‘‘my homemade mufﬁns with raspberries’’) One can be bored by eating traditional meals (‘‘potatoes. it is always softer than I expect it to be’’) People are ashamed of the way they eat food (‘‘spaghetti that I must slurp to eat’’). Participants are disgusted by food with non-appetitive tactility (‘‘oysters: snot. Three samples were selected for the main study on the basis of their mean ranking: the sample with the highest mean ranking.e. because it makes me fat’’). For each product type. and low quality.ARTICLE IN PRESS
296 Table 4 (continued ) Emotion Pride Examples Participants reported to be proud of what they consume or cook.’’ ‘‘French fries that are not crispy’’) People are dissatisﬁed with a lack of effort of the cook who prepares the food (‘‘when after a hard week of work. Types of food that are very often associated with shame are chocolate and fast food People feel contempt towards foods of inferior quality. Desmet.’’ ‘‘sometimes an orange can look very tasty.
. and the sample with a mean ranking closest to the average. or when the amount of food served is insufﬁcient (‘‘expensive restaurant. Stimuli Each of the three tests (i. but is not tasty when you eat it’’). None of the participants reported to suffer from any eating disorders or health problems associated with food.M. I know that I shouldn’t eat it. because the bones may get stuck in my throat’’) or the long-term consequence of eating food (‘‘eating too much unhealthy food. can be sour’’) Sadness is often elicited by food that is associated with particular sad memories (‘‘food that reminds me of a sad event. For this selection. little bites. instant food (‘‘sachets of food to which you only have to add water’’). of the quality of the food that they consume (‘‘junk food. boring’’) or by monotonous food (‘‘simple biscuits. Another important cause of fear is doubts about the quality of the food (‘‘old milk. and the pasta meal test) involved a set of three food samples. None of them participated in Study 1. to drink away your sadness’’) Cooks get angry with themselves when they spoil food while preparing the food (‘‘I let the pasta burn. which is appalling’’). tasteless and dry’’). and 40 the pasta meal test (50% female).J. people are proud of eating a special product (‘‘the ﬁrst time I ate oysters’’) or drinking exclusive alcoholic drinks (‘‘whiskey. Disappointment is also experienced in response to the quality of food (‘‘when the centre of the pizza is not very hot. Furthermore. 43 the savoury snack test (56% female). moderate. People fear the immediate consequence of eating food (‘‘ﬁsh. Note that in some cases the product was used as a remedy against boredom (‘‘liquorice when you have nothing to do. One can feel contempt to the cook who is responsible for preparing the meal (‘‘when my friend invited me for dinner and only served me bread’’). because it reminds me of my grandfather’’). Sweet and savoury snack samples were presented in white. samples within a set were selected to vary in perceived quality: each set included a sample of high. usually looks much more appetising than it actually tastes. I return home and my mother makes a pizza’’). twelve participants tasted the 10 samples and sorted them from highest to lowest quality. and were presented on small plastic plates covered by non-transparent lids.’’ ‘‘fondant. the sweet snack test. In the ﬁrst case. participants reported contempt for other people’s eating habits (‘‘people who eat meat’’) Fear is typically associated with ﬁsh and meat products.
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P. savoury snack. a repeated measures ANOVA was performed with Sample (3 levels) as within-participant factor. relief. All participants ﬁnished the test in 30 min or less. 41) ¼ 55. Those that were experienced least often are pride. The procedure in the pasta meal test was similar. and unpleasant surprise. E. and pasta meal samples Product type Sweet snack Sample A B C Savoury snack D E F Pasta meal G Quality High Moderate Low High Moderate Low High Brand LU Bakkersland BAS private label AH private label Euro patisserie Euroshopper AH private label
tasted the sample. and H of moderate. Pleasant emotions that were experienced most often are satisfaction.
Product name Scholiertje Space wafel Chocowafel Kaaskoekje Twiggles Knabbelsticks Koken en Stomen
Product description A crunchy vanilla biscuit with a dark chocolate tablet Thin vanilla wafﬂe with caramel ﬁlling. in groups of six to 10 in a neutral room. For each product type. a glass of water. disappointment. A verbal instruction was given and a questionnaire was handed out. dissatisfaction. and a plate with a pack of neutral. and ﬁlled in the questionnaire for that particular sample. Desmet. weight. samples B. savoury snacks: F(2. height. the participant opened the lid. po0. ranging from 1 ¼ ‘‘not’’ (I do not experience this emotion) to 5 ¼ ‘‘strongly’’ (I strongly experience this emotion).J. This task did not include a question.001. and eating habits. The last page contained general questions about age. aggregated over the nine products. participants were instructed to eat a cracker and to drink some water to neutralise their sense of taste. which were presented on white porcelain plates. H. fear. Experienced emotions Table 7 shows the means and standard deviations for the ratings of the extent to which each of the 22 emotions was experienced. ate a cracker and drank some water. The same procedure was followed for the other two samples.
Table 5 Properties of the sweet snack. pasta meals: F (2. Participants were allowed to take their time to ﬁll out the questionnaire. anger. once for each sample. After ﬁnishing the ﬁrst question (envisioning the 22 emotions). Heated in microwave before serving Dried prepared noodle meal. On the next page. Covered with chocolate Crunchy wafﬂe with thin chocolateﬂavoured coating Crunchy cheese biscuit prepared with Italian cheese Crunchy wafﬂe with cheese-ﬂavoured creamy ﬁlling Pretzel-type. stick-shaped salted biscuit Prepared Italian pasta with fresh vegetables and salmon. D. and samples C. and amusement. In addition. Those experienced least often are jealousy. and admiration. 39) ¼ 78. Upon entering the room. The test was performed every hour between 9 AM and 9 PM. pleasant surprise. except for the pasta samples. desire. With these scales participants reported their emotional responses to the sample. Boiling water added before serving
BAS private label Nissin
Macaroni met hamkaas saus Cup noodles
.N.001. participants evaluated the quality of the sample on a ﬁve-point scale ranging from 1 ¼ ‘‘low’’ to 5 ¼ ‘‘high’’.M. but was included to prepare participants for the task. disgust. the 22 emotion types and synonyms (see Study 1) were given with the instruction to imagine how it would feel to experience each of these emotions.6. The questionnaire included this page three times. and shame. F. Questionnaire After a short introduction. with the exception that heated samples were served on a plate and participants were provided with cutlery. 38) ¼ 73. For the sweet and savoury snacks one randomly selected sample container was served. Five versions of the questionnaire were printed with each a different (randomised) emotion order.001]. Steamed before serving Prepared cheese and ham macaroni. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 297
In the main study all samples were presented in the same way as in the pilot study. enjoyment. For each product type a signiﬁcant main Sample effect was found. sadness.2. po0. the emotion types and synonyms were printed with a ﬁve-point scale. Results Stimulus quality The quality evaluations conﬁrmed the results of the pilot test: Samples A. unsalted crackers. which indicated that samples differed in perceived quality [sweet snacks: F(2. po0.A. and I of low quality (Table 6).6. Unpleasant emotions that were experienced most often are boredom. Procedure All three tests were performed individually. and G were of high quality. participants were seated at individual tables with a small stack of white paper napkins.
97 2. 39) Savoury snacks F (2.81 2.30 4.80 0.13 1.88 2.37 2.9 1.21 1.33* 11.5 3.45* 5.68* 3.23* 1.48 2. In addition.14* 12.24 0. Schifferstein / Appetite 50 (2008) 290–301 Table 6 Mean quality ratings of sweet snack.64 1.35 1.74 M 2.27 2.05 5.68 2.54 2.10 0.2 2. Emotion differentiation A repeated measures MANOVA was performed with Quality (3 levels) as within-participant factor.80 0. this difference seems to be smaller in the sample tasting procedure than in recalled every day life food experiences.1 Savoury snacks Sample D E F M 3.39 1. and pasta meals separately (columns 6–8).62 0.46 11.83 0.93 1.J.16 14.55 1.45 F(2.53 1.69 Sweet snacks F (2.0 0.52 2. savoury snack.98* 11.00 2.93 13.0 SD 0.32 1.00 1.51 1. 119) 10.80 1.69 1.09* 5.97* 2.99 Boredom Disappointment Dissatisfaction Disgust Unpleasant surprise Shame Contempt Fear Sadness Anger Jealousy Unpleasant emotions M ¼ 1.44* 4.04 0.75 11.32* 9.58* 11.42 2.7 1.A.11* 1.97* 8.05.8 SD 0.30 1.63* 5.05).84 0.99 1.96 11.7 1.3 0.38 0.44* 6. savoury snacks.56* 16.93* 4.59 2.31 1.64 2.74* 0.73 2.58 1.64 2.05 2.27 2.31 2.01 1.97 6. were also experienced least often in the sampletasting procedure.75 1.0 SD 0.7 2. and pasta meal samples Sweet snacks Sample A B C M 4.19 6.31 1.54 3. The amount of experienced pleasant surprise (and to a smaller degree unpleasant surprise) was relatively high in Study 2 compared to Study 1.91 1.32 1. 40) Pasta meals F (2.38 0.15* 14.35 SD 1.05 0.87 3.58 1.28* 4.18 3.34 1.78
The results in Table 7 largely conﬁrm the ﬁndings of Study 1.40 1.37 2. and jealousy.78 2.73* 1. and pasta meals Pleasant emotions M ¼ 2.52 2.80 2.18* 1.76* 7.35 1.35 M Satisfaction Enjoyment Desire Amusement Love Stimulation Pleasant surprise Relief Admiration Hope Pride 2.60 1.20* 4.30* 9.2 1. enjoyment.75 2.88 0.81 1. The means of disappointment and dissatisfaction are signiﬁcantly higher than the mean of pride.67* 4.82* 1.85 1.89* 0.12 0.60 2. Apparently.36 1. In addition.21 0.14* 21.34 2.01* 10.22* 21. H.85 0.58 2. Similarly.25 1. In both studies pleasant emotions were found to be experienced more often than unpleasant ones.97 2. not all pleasant emotions were experienced more often than all unpleasant ones. the emotions satisfaction.32 1. and admiration (two-tailed paired t-test.91 2.53 20.15* 6.
.44* 6.3 2.94 1.14 1.18* 1.51 4. Table 7 also indicates some differences.00* 10.79 1.e.89 2.39 1.50 2.78 2. and in response to the food samples in Study 2.25 2.54 1.8 1.32 1.22* 5.86 2.57 SD 1. desire.41 1.11* 11.97 1. and amusement were experienced most often in response to food in general.14 2. (*) signiﬁcant at po0.33 1.42* 1.26 1. relief.42* 6. savoury snacks.8
Table 7 Mean relevance ratings for 22 emotion types in response to sweet snacks.39* 8.67* 13.ARTICLE IN PRESS
298 P.42 High M 3.49 1. and the 22
Table 8 Effect of sample quality on emotion ratings Emotion Aggregate data Low M Satisfaction Enjoyment Desire Amusement Love Stimulation Pleasant surprise Relief Admiration Hope Pride Boredom Disappointment Dissatisfaction Disgust Unpleasant surprise Shame Contempt Fear Sadness Anger Jealousy 2. po0.28 2.70* 5. the emotions that were experienced least often in response to food in general.48 Moderate M 2.42 1.61 2. anger.43* 0.52 1.07 2.47 1.04 2.36* 2.N.44* 15. and the mean of boredom is higher than the means of pride.36 1.59 1.69 2. i.8 3.M.17 3.8 Pasta meals Sample G H I M 3.95 18. Desmet.22 1.56 1.92 2. fear. although the pleasant emotions were generally experienced more often than the unpleasant ones.27* 9.86 1. the Product type (3 levels) as between-participant factor.17 8.29* 5.58 2.83* 1.27 2.71* 21. sadness.63 2.05* 5.27 1.19* 8.42 1.99 1.87* 12.69 1.00 2. 38)
Mean emotion ratings for three levels of quality (columns 2–4) and analysis of variance results for the aggregate data set (column 5) and for sweet snacks.07 1.43* 3.20 2.40 1.45* 7.36 2.10 3.
vegetables. Methodological limitations
Although all selected emotions seem to occur from time to time in response to tasting or eating food. the emotions relief.3. and 8 in Table 8 show the F values obtained for each emotion for each product type. The eliciting conditions reported in Study 1 may therefore have been inﬂuenced by the participants’ beliefs or expectations of the relationships between food. Therefore. 3. relief was unlikely to occur. shame. po0. Columns 6. fear. and emotions. anger. pride. or the products they eat. 1993). and desire in univariate tests. 7. In the case of the food experience. H. pride. Discussion Hedonic asymmetry in food emotions
were selected for them instead of to products that they had selected themselves. shame. Furthermore. such as interviews and group discussions may generate additional insights in the conditions that underlie food emotions.001]. a repeated measures ANOVA was performed with Quality (3 levels) as within-participant factor. people will only taste or eat those products that they expect to have a pleasant emotional impact. 8. someone else is responsible for the cooking and for the selection of products.N. Because we also found signiﬁcant Quality Â Product type interactions for all emotions except shame. Product type [F(44. participants can only be held responsible for the way they eat. Combining written self-reports with other techniques. consequently. This may be due to the nature of the stimuli: Products that are sold in supermarkets are designed to appeal to consumers. These outcomes can be explained by examining the conditions that evoke these emotions. Admiration.
. and pasta meals. and 4 in Table 8). all pleasant emotions were reported to be experienced more often than all unpleasant emotions. 142) ¼ 1. participants generated more examples of pleasant than of unpleasant previous experiences. other (types of) foods may yield different results. and thus are likely to evoke mainly pleasant emotions. The multivariate test showed a signiﬁcant effect of Quality [F(44. if one were to investigate the emotions evoked by innovative new product concepts that are not yet on the market. In addition. po0.A. and 10 for sweet snacks. while in reality this person has not only experienced admiration but also jealousy. and shame signiﬁcant effects were found for one or more product types. In addition. in which participants responded to selected samples.001]. Mean responses for the pleasant emotions tended to increase with increasing quality level. Desmet. For all emotions except pride.01]. and jealousy a main Quality effect was found in univariate tests (column 5 in Table 8). For example. the representativeness of the products tested in Study 2 can be questioned. The ﬁnal emotion that did not differentiate between samples is jealousy. Note that the effect tended to be somewhat smaller than in Study 1. we decided to proceed with analyses per product type. admiration. one might ﬁnd unpleasant emotions to be evoked more frequently. In addition.1. and no signiﬁcant quality effect was found for these emotions. no sample differences can be expected for jealousy either. the way they eat. 2007). whereas for the unpleasant emotions they tended to decrease (columns 2. participants in the Study 2 were not particularly hungry or thirsty and. The hedonic asymmetry effect was also found in Study 2. respectively.M. This notion is in line with the ﬁnding that a ﬁne meal at home is regarded as one of the major sources of pleasure in life (Westenhoefer & Pudel. such as fruit. However. In Study 1. The number of emotions that showed signiﬁcant differences between the three samples was 19.7. food intake. This hedonic asymmetry may be due to the fact that. Sensitising respondents by having them imagine emotions may have stimulated them to report higher levels of emotional relevance in the actual test.J. This may be caused by the fact that participants responded to products that
It should be mentioned that the present studies are explorative. 1988). and shame are social emotions. savoury snacks. and the two-way interaction [F(88. Similar studies may be conducted with other types of food products. the emotion ratings may have been inﬂuenced by the participants’ initial emotional state or by the preceding task (in this case imagining emotions). someone may have reported to admire a chef for preparing an exquisite dish because this participant believed that to be the proper emotional response. For each product type and each emotion. who was absent in the sample tasting procedure. relief. in which participants described their recollected past food experiences. po0. people can be held responsible for the way they cook. some are experienced more often than others. but that did not differ between samples. they are experienced in response to events for which someone is held responsible (Ortony et al. These results indicate that healthy individuals have a predominantly positive affective disposition towards eating and tasting food. in general. Probably. In the sample tasting procedure. jealousy. The evoking conditions of jealousy require the involvement of another person. For all emotions except pride. and that the conclusions drawn can only be tentative for a number of methodological reasons. In Study 1 we found that relief is mostly experienced in response to drinking when one is thirsty or eating when one is hungry. People are not always aware of their emotional responses or the conditions that underlie these emotions (Barrett et al. and beverages. Therefore... In Study 2. 71) ¼ 2. jealousy. and pride seemed less relevant than in Study 1.ARTICLE IN PRESS
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emotions as the dependents. 186) ¼ 2. and jealousy did not differentiate between stimuli in the sample tasting procedure. hope.
One can be. and explanations of the conditions that elicited these emotions. because he or she anticipates an unwanted increase in body weight. because these can cause allergic reactions love strawberries because they make me think of my girlfriend am amused by magic candies because they remind me of the carnival hope for the Easter vacation when I see a chocolate Easter egg was bored by the food that reminded me of boring family lunches was angry because the cook prepared a meal that I do not like feel contempt towards people who eat meat was ashamed for my bad table manners was proud because my friends complimented me on my cooking
Personal or cultural meanings
Actions of associated agents
. Frijda. because it reminds them of their childhood Christmas. such as a drop or rise in energy level. Table 9 classiﬁes the reported statements into ﬁve distinct sources of food emotion: emotions elicited by (1) sensory properties.g. the particular social encounter may not have inﬂuenced the joy (because the emotion was actually caused by the wine’s taste. (4) personal or social meanings. experience enjoyment in response to the taste of roasted turkey. H. One respondent. people can experience contempt towards particular
amused by the funny feeling of the pasta in my mouth pleasantly surprised by the taste of an exotic fruit. Statements that refer to food associations may. Some people can. like visual. the actual source of emotion differs. for example. Note however that most emotion scientists do not make this strict distinction between causes and associations. an emotion may be attributed to the wrong cause. the wine consumption may not have inﬂuenced the joy (because during that particular encounter any other type of drink would also have elicited joy). and tactile qualities of food can have a direct emotional impact.M. We know from experience that not only actual events. for example. (3) associated consequences. The sensory properties.J. have strong emotional experiences just by imagining winning a competition. despite the caffeine. olfactory. reﬂect causes of emotions just as much as statements that refer to food properties. One can. A person can be disappointed after drinking a cup of coffee because he is still tired. second.ARTICLE IN PRESS
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Five sources of food emotions Participants in Study 1 reported emotions experienced in response to eating and tasting food in everyday life.N. or amused by the texture of cotton candy. but also remembered or imagined events can elicit emotions.. because associations also play an important role in the conditions that elicit emotions. bored by the unsalted meal disgusted by the texture of the snails that were served relieved after drinking a large glass of water stimulated after drinking coffee disappointed not to be energized after drinking an energy drink dissatisﬁed because I was still hungry after eating the dish
hope to stay healthy by eating fresh vegetables am afraid of becoming fat because of unhealthy food desire for chocolate because I know eating it will make me feel good was unpleasantly surprised to ﬁnd hazelnuts in my chocolate bar. feelings of nausea or satiation. being fascinated by the bright colour of a pasta dish) and causes that are indirect (e. Because multiple causes may be plausible. Also. and alcoholic nature) and. In addition.A. (2) experienced consequences.g. pleasantly surprised by the colour–ﬂavour combination of an exotic fruit. imagined or anticipated consequences can have an emotional impact. for example. of someone who desires for a cold drink in the anticipation that it will be refreshing.. we introduce the
Table 9 Five sources of food emotions Source 1 Sensory attributes Examples reported in Study 1 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I was was was was was was was was
concept of ‘source of food emotion’ to communicate that conditions that elicit food emotions may include both causes that are direct (e. Although in both cases the food elicits the emotional response. Their reports did not only include statements that refer to properties of the food. The fourth source of emotional impact involves meanings that are attached to the food. In line with this suggestion. 1986). In two ways this respondent may have misinterpreted the conditions that elicited joy. Food also has physiological consequences. therefore. Think of someone who experiences fear of eating fast food. bored by a tasteless snack.g. Or. and by (5) behaviour of agents involved. reported the experience of joy in response to drinking wine as a result of a pleasurable social encounter. or by remembering one’s honeymoon vacation (see e. Desmet. experience hope in response to the anticipated health beneﬁts associated with eating apples). for example. but also many statements that refer to thoughts about the food and the context in which the emotions were experienced. First. Or one can be satisﬁed to be replenished by a heavy dish. colour.
G. Emotion and adaptation. & Simons. K. Mesquita. Macht. (1988). Acknowledgements The authors thank Lara van der Veen and Sanne Valkenburg for assistance in conducting and analysing the experiment. F. (1986). & Steenkamp. A. 65–71. Pleasure from food-importance for food choice and consequences of deliberate restriction. & Pudel. S. J. Behavioral Processes. J. The experience of emotion. Cambridge: Oelgeschlager. Child Development. The ﬁve categories of sources of food emotions may not account for all possible emotions experienced in response to tasting or eating food. Mehrabian. Lyman. (2002). A. (2006). and those that relate to meanings and behaviour of agents associated with the food. One can also be ashamed of people who have bad table manners.). Cole (Ed. & Schlundt. C. International Journal of Eating Disorders. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. G. (1980). Impact of moods and social context on eating behavior. M. S. M. From appraisal to emotion: Differences among unpleasant feelings. (1980). L.. Macht. Parma. Gottingen: ¨ ¨ ¨ Hogrefe Verlag. F. Frijda. 332–336. Richins. 12. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. & T.. 54. D. H.. Effects of eating behavior on mood: A review of the literature. & Oster. 115. Stress-induced eating. M. Scherer. V. Desmet. 8. Gunn & Hain. 373–403. Appetite. E. (1988). M. Measuring emotions in the consumption experience. (1988). O. & Wing. (2001).. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum. Universals and cultural differences in facial expressions of emotion. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. M. S14–S15. Ekman. References
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