What do Love and Jealousy Taste Like?
Metaphorical expressions linking love and jealousy to sweet, sour, and bitter tastes are common in normal language use and suggest that these emotions may influence perceptual taste judgments. Hence, we investigated whether the phenomenological experiences of love and jealousy are embodied in the taste sensations of sweetness, sourness, and bitterness. Studies 1A and 1B validated that these metaphors are widely endorsed. In three subsequent studies, participants induced to feel love rated a variety of tastants (sweet-sour candy, bitter-sweet chocolates, and distilled water) as sweeter than those who were induced to feel jealous, neutral, or happy. However, those induced to feel jealous did not differ from those induced to feel happy or neutral on bitter and sour ratings. These findings imply that emotions can influence basic perceptual judgments, but metaphors that refer to the body do not necessarily influence perceptual judgments the way they imply. We further suggest that future research in metaphoric social cognition and metaphor theory may benefit from investigating how such metaphors could have originated. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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ABSTRACT: Meier et al. (2012) reported a correlation of .36 between self-reported prosocial personality and preference for sweet-tasting foods. We examined further a possible link between having a “sweet” personality and liking sweet foods, by obtaining self- and observer reports of personality in two samples of about 300 participants each. In both samples, sweet taste preferences correlated .15 or under with self-reports and under .10 with observer reports of a prosocial personality composite based on the HEXACO factors. In one sample, the Big Five factors were also assessed, and sweet taste preferences correlated .19 with self-reports but only .06 with observer reports of Big Five Agreeableness. We conclude that prosocial personality is not substantially associated with sweet taste preferences.Journal of Research in Personality 10/2014; 52. DOI:10.1016/j.jrp.2014.06.006 · 2.00 Impact Factor
Article: Bitter Taste Causes Hostility[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The present research tested the novel hypothesis that bitter taste increases hostility. Theoretical background formed the intimate link of the taste-sensory system to the visceral system, with bitter intake typically eliciting a strong aversion response. Three experiments using differential bitter and control stimuli showed that hostile affect and behavior is increased by bitter taste experiences. Specifically, participants who consumed a bitter (vs. control) drink showed an increase in self-reported current hostility (Experiment 1), in hypothetical aggressive affect and hypothetical aggressive behavior (Experiment 2) and in actual hostile behavior assessed using a well-established method for non-physical laboratory aggression (Experiment 3). Furthermore, the effect occurred not only when participants were previously provoked (Experiments 2 and 3) but also when no provocation preceded (Experiment 1 and 3). Importantly, stimulus aversiveness and intensity did not influence the effects observed, ruling them out as explanations. Alternative interpretative frameworks and limitations are discussed.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 10/2014; 40(12). DOI:10.1177/0146167214552792 · 2.52 Impact Factor
Article: Sweet love[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Terms of endearment such as ''sweetie,'' ''honey,'' and ''sugar'' are commonly used in the context of describing romantic partners. This article explores how a relatively subtle manipulation, namely taste sensations, might influence romantic perceptions of a non-established relationship. Consistent with predictions, results from Studies 1 and 2 (n ¼ 280) showed that participants evaluated a hypothetical relationship, but not an existing relationship, more favorably when exposed to sweet taste compared to non-sweet taste control. Study 3 (n ¼ 142) further showed that participants indicated greater interest in initiating a relationship with a potential partner when exposed to sweet taste, as compared to control participants. Implications for the role of sweet taste experiences in attraction and relationship initiation are discussed.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 10/2014; DOI:10.1177/0265407514554512 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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