Leaving a flat taste in your mouth: Task load reduces taste perception
SourcePsychological Science, 24, 7, (2013), pp. 1277-1284
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
In recent years, people have tended to pay less attention to their meals, often consuming them while engaging in other activities. At the same time, foods have become increasingly sweet and salty. We therefore investigated how performing concurrent activities affects taste perception and how this relates to actual consumption. Participants tasted sour, sweet, and salty substances in various concentrations under differing task loads. Our results demonstrated that under high task load (relative to low task load), participants rated the substances as less intense, consumed more of the substances, and preferred stronger tastants. Our findings suggest that increased task load reduces people’s taste perception by limiting attentional capacity to assess taste intensity and that people adjust their consumption accordingly.
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