Paul Rozin

Paul Rozin
University of Pennsylvania | UP · Department of Psychology

About

81
Publications
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Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Food cultures can play a role in health and well-being. This raises the questions of whether nation boundaries unite the food cultures of different regions and ethnic groups, what characterises food cultures from very different parts of the world, and what similarities and differences exist. The present study aimed to investigate these questions wi...
Chapter
An introduction to dietary and health changes focusing on the traditional and the modern. ■ A discussion of what traditional and modern eating are. ■ Dimensions “what people eat” and “how people eat”. ■ Sub-dimensions of “what people eat”: ingredients, processing, preparation, temporal origin, spatial origin and variety. ■ Sub-dimensions of “how pe...
Article
This paper investigates consumer attitudes towards Hermetia illucens larvae (aka Black Soldier Fly Larvae; BSFL) and other insects in two forms: dried whole insects and insect flour incorporated into a familiar food. In two studies, we assessed the willingness of American adults to try eating them directly, eating animals fed on them, and feeding t...
Article
We demonstrate that natural products are more strongly preferred when used to prevent a problem than when used to cure a problem (the prevent/cure effect). This organizing principle explains variation in the preference for natural across distinct product categories (e.g., food vs. medicine), within product categories (e.g., between different types...
Article
This paper reviews principles from decision psychology relevant to understanding and increasing acceptance of urban recycled water, and supplements existing literature by suggesting an additional factor: adaptation insensitivity. We integrate into our discussion previously unpublished results from a study conducted in 2007, which surveyed 2680 resp...
Article
Most people in the Western, developed world prefer natural things, especially foods. We posit that there is neither theoretical nor empirical support for the widespread beliefs about the superiority of natural entities with respect to human welfare. Nature is not particularly benevolent.
Article
We consider how to optimize remembered aesthetic pleasure resulting from temporal sequences of events such as music and meals. We examine what psychology and music can learn from each other and how this knowledge might be applied to tasting menus and other temporal sequences. Common practices in longer musical works suggest the importance of (a) be...
Chapter
Food choice plays a fundamental role in both biological and cultural evolution. As social generalists eating a wide range of foods, humans have faced two great problems in their evolution: how to figure out what is toxic and what is nutritive—the omnivore's dilemma—and how to coordinate the learned knowledge of multiple individuals to succeed in om...
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There is a worldwide and increasing shortage of potable fresh water. Modern water reclamation technologies can alleviate much of the problem by converting wastewater directly into drinking water, but there is public resistance to these approaches that has its basis largely in psychology. A psychological problem is encapsulated in the saying of thos...
Article
We assessed the degree of discomfort reported by U.S. and Czech Holocaust survivors (Study 1) and Jewish American college students (Study 2) to the prospect of physical proximity to a wide range of contemporary Germans with varying linkages to Nazi Germany, and a range of objects or activities associated with Germany (e.g., riding in a Volkswagen)....
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Attitude change is a critical component of health behavior change, but has rarely been studied longitudinally following extensive exposures to persuasive materials such as full-length movies, books, or plays. We examined changes in attitudes related to food production and consumption in college students who had read Michael Pollan's book The Omnivo...
Article
A recent paper by Tybur and colleagues presents a theory of the evolved functions of disgust based on biological evolution. This work furthers our understanding of disgust and is the first to detail the computational mechanisms involved in detecting and evaluating disgust-related risks. However, because this approach ignores the powerful role of cu...
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Redefines the classical conception of magic as a cognitive intuition or belief in the existence of imperceptible forces or essences that transcend the usual boundary between the mental/symbolic and physical/material realities, in a way that (1) diverges from the received wisdom from the technocratic elite, (2) serves important functions, and (3) fo...
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Metaphors are increasingly recognized as influencing cognition and consumption. While these linkages typically have been qualitatively generated, this article presents a framework of convergent quantitative methodologies that can further document the validity of a metaphor. To illustrate this multimethod framework, the authors explore whether there...
Article
Ambivalence is thought to impact consumption of food, alcohol and drugs, possibly via influences on craving, with cravers often being simultaneously drawn toward and repelled from ingestion. So far, little is known about the temporal dynamics of ambivalence, especially as it varies in relationship to consumption. Participants (n=482, 56.8% female)...
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Analysis of previous literature on the role of food in life in France and the United States suggests some fundamental differences in attitudes which may generalize outside of the food domain. Questionnaire results from French and American adults suggest that, compared to the French, Americans emphasize quantity rather than quality in making choices...
Article
The relation between diet and health has become a public health concern in Western/developed countries. Physicians are influenced in their views about health by their medical training and membership in a particular culture/nation to one extent or another. Their medical training is itself influenced by both a common body of accepted formal knowledge...
Article
Neural reuse demonstrates preadaptation. In accord with Rozin (1976), the process is an increase in accessibility of an originally dedicated module. Access is a dimension that can vary from sharing by two systems to availability to all systems (conscious access). An alternate manifestation is to reproduce the genetic blueprint of a program. The maj...
Article
Although North American undergraduates represent about 0.2% of humanity, and a very unrepresentative subset, they actually provide an advance look at what humanity is becoming. In the face of globalization, this is all the more reason to study the wonderful variants of the human condition before they become homogenized.
Article
Craving is a term commonly used by North American lay people, and is also used as an important category in psychological and addiction research. However, difficulties in defining craving suggest that it may not be a natural category. Assuming that lexicalization of a concept is an indicator of its importance and/or universality, the presence of syn...
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Positive events are more common (more tokens), but negative events are more differentiated (more types). These observations and asymmetries about the world are consistent with a number of features or biases favouring positive adjectives that have been shown for English. Compared to their opposites, positive adjectives in English are more likely to...
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Judgments of naturalness of foods tend to be more influenced by the process history of a food, rather than its actual constituents. Two types of processing of a ``natural'' food are to add something or to remove something. We report in this study, based on a large random sample of individuals from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland,...
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Full-text available
Judgments of naturalness of foods tend to be more influenced by the process history of a food, rather than its actual constituents. Two types of processing of a ``natural'' food are to add something or to remove something. We report in this study, based on a large random sample of individuals from six countries (France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland,...
Article
About half of American women crave chocolate, and approximately half of the cravers crave it specifically around the onset of menstruation. This study examines whether the primary cause of this "perimenstrual" craving is a direct effect of hormonal changes around the perimenstrum, or rather if the craving is a general response in some individuals t...
Article
College students estimated the weight of adult women from either photographs or a live presentation by a set of models and estimated the calories in 1 of 2 actual meals. The 2 meals had the same items, but 1 had larger portion sizes than the other. The results suggest: (a) Judgments are biased toward transforming the example in question to the size...
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Diener and colleagues (2001) illustrated that individuals rely heavily on endings to evaluate the quality of a life. Two studies investigated the potential for posthumous events to affect rated life quality, calling into question the intuitive ``ending'' of a life at death. Undergraduates read a series of short life narratives to assess the consequ...
Article
The authors explore whether moral disgust is an elaboration of a food rejection system. According to the principle of preadaptation, a system that evolves for one purpose is later used for another purpose. From this viewpoint, disgust originates in the mammalian bitter taste rejection system, which directly activates a disgust output system. This p...
Article
We wonder about tying the universal appeal of music to emotion as defined by psychologists. Music is more generally about feelings, and many of these, such as moods and pleasures, are central to the enjoyment of music and fall outside the domain of emotion. The critical component of musical feelings is affective intensity, resulting from syntactica...
Article
We report that undergraduate females, unlike males, indicate a high degree of discomfort at the prospect of being weighed in the presence of male or female acquaintances. This discomfort is surprising, in that the other people present already have a good sense of the weight of the female by virtue of being able to see her. An analysis of this disco...
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This is a first study on attachment to national and sacred land and land as a protected value. A measure of attachment to the land of Israel is developed and administered to two groups, Jewish college students in Israel and the United States. Levels of land attachment are high and not significantly different in the two groups, with a great deal of...
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People live in a world in which they are surrounded by potential disgust elicitors such as ``used'' chairs, air, silverware, and money as well as excretory activities. People function in this world by ignoring most of these, by active avoidance, reframing, or adaptation. The issue is particularly striking for professions, such as morticians, surgeo...
Article
Like any other domain of human activity, psychology has its fads and fashions. One consequence of fads is an overconcentration of resources on specific problems or approaches, which leaves other important problems or approaches (holes) underappreciated and understudied. This article is primarily about different factors (such as negativity bias, pol...
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Most American respondents give ``irrational,'' magical responses in a variety of situations that exemplify the sympathetic magical laws of similarity and contagion. In most of these cases, respondents are aware that their responses (usually rejections, as of fudge crafted to look like dog feces, or a food touched by a sterilized, dead cockroach) ar...
Article
Rated liking for dishes consumed during a meal was compared with recalled liking in two studies using actual meals and one with an imagined meal. The effects on memory of the most pleasant dish, the first and last dishes, a rising vs. falling hedonic profile, and the time spent eating a dish were evaluated for similarity to effects seen in memories...
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This study directly tests the hypothesis that, at least within the domains of food and drink for Americans, the judgment of naturalness has more to do with the history of an object, that is the processes that it has undergone, as opposed to its material content. Individuals rate the naturalness and acceptability of a natural entity (water or tomato...
Article
The AAB pattern consists of two similar events followed by a third dissimilar event. The prevalence of this pattern in the aesthetic domain may be explained as violation of expectation: A minimum of two iterations is required to establish a repetitive pattern; once established, it is most efficient to promptly violate the expected continuance of th...
Article
Extreme overreaction to nonrisky contact with persons with AIDS is considered to be a case of the operation of the sympathetic magical law of contagion. Prior work has shown that this principle (once in contact, always in contact) holds in the belief systems of American adults. In this paper, we show that four characteristics of this law correspond...
Article
People seem to think that a unit of some entity (with certain constraints) is the appropriate and optimal amount. We refer to this heuristic as unit bias. We illustrate unit bias by demonstrating large effects of unit segmentation, a form of portion control, on food intake. Thus, people choose, and presumably eat, much greater weights of Tootsie Ro...
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This study extends earlier work by [Kahneman, D., and Snell, J. (1992). Predicting a changing taste: Do people know what they will like? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 5, 187-200.]. suggesting that people are poor at predicting changes in liking. This is an important issue because an absence of this ability would make it difficult for peopl...
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Telephone interviews of 6000 representative adults from France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA, included two items on attitudes to variety. One had to do with whether the respondent preferred a choice of 10 versus 50 ice cream flavors. Ten choices were preferred by a majority of respondents from each country except the United Stat...
Article
Interviews with 29 Holocaust survivors indicate wide variation in degree of aversion to Germans and activities associated with Germany. For some survivors, aversion is limited to those closest to the Nazi perpetrators; for others aversion includes anyone with German ancestry and any situation or product linked to contemporary Germany. This wide ran...
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Seven studies tested the hypothesis that compared with sympathy symhedonia (sympathy for another's good fortune) is inherently more contingent on prior emotional attachment to its targets. As predicted, Studies 1-4 found that reported attachment was higher for past episodes of symhedonia than for those of sympathy and that recalled incidence of sym...
Article
The value of forgiveness is emphasized in many religions, but little is known about how members of distinct religious cultures differ in their views of forgiveness. We hypothesized and found that Jews would agree more than Protestants that certain offenses are unforgivable and that religious commitment would be more negatively correlated with belie...
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Three classes of introductory psychology students at the University of Pennsylvania completed a survey including several measures of group identification on 20 March 2001, 15 September 2001, and 24 March 2003. Importance of country and university were rated higher four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks than six months before or 18 months after....
Article
Humans are biologically adapted to their ancestral food environment in which foods were dispersed and energy expenditure was required to obtain them. The modern developed world has a surplus of very accessible, inexpensive food. Amid the enormous variety of different foods are "super" foods, such as chocolate, which are particularly appealing and c...
Article
The meaning of the desirable attribute "natural" was explored in two samples, American college students and adults in the Philadelphia jury pool. Participants rated the naturalness of a variety of "natural" entities, before and after they were transformed by operations such as freezing, adding or removing components, mixing with other natural or un...
Article
We examined the ability of 150-166 undergraduate students to assign four negative emotions (sadness, fear, disgust, and anger) to five sets of emotion expression stimuli: a standard of face photographs expressing basic emotions, faces that were morphs of standards for these emotions, a special set of faces that was designed to detect different comp...
Article
Preference for natural refers to the fact that in a number of domains, especially food, people prefer natural entities to those which have been produced with human intervention. Two studies with undergraduate students and representative American adults indicate that the preference for natural is substantial, and stronger for foods than for medicine...
Article
Cultural and age differences in responses to contamination and conceptions of purification were examined in Hindu Indian (N = 125) and American (N = 106) 4- to 5-year-olds and 8-year-olds, who were provided with stories of juice contaminated by contact with a cockroach, a human hair, and a stranger (via sipping). Children who rejected the juice as...
Article
We know very little about either the mechanisms through which preferences are created in humans, or the contributions of particular developmental forces: e.g. genetics, parental influence, peer influence, the media. Prior work has indicated surprisingly low correlations (averaging about 0.15) between the food or music preferences of young adult and...
Article
Part of the "French paradox" can be explained by the fact that the French eat less than Americans. We document that French portion sizes are smaller in comparable restaurants, in the sizes of individual portions of foods (but not other items) in supermarkets, in portions specified in cookbooks, and in the prominence of "all you can eat" restaurants...
Article
Questionnaires on food attitudes and behavior were completed by 2,200 American undergraduates from 6 regionally dispersed college campuses. Results indicate that a substantial minority of women and a much smaller minority of men have major concerns about eating and food with respect to both weight and health. Overall, 14% of women reported being em...
Article
College students were instructed to observe symmetric and asymmetric facial expressions and to report the target's judgment of the "emotion" she or he was expressing, the facial movements involved, and the more expressive side. For both asymmetric and symmetric expressions, some of the most common emotions or states reported are neither included in...
Article
Jewish tradition is focused much more on religious practice than on religious belief, whereas various denominations of Christianity focus about equally on religious practice and on faith. We explored whether this difference in dogma affects how Jews and Protestants judge religiosity. In Study 1, we showed that Jews and Protestants rated practice eq...
Article
Responds to comments by U. Hess (see record 2003-02341-011), P. C. Ellsworth (see record 2003-02341-012) and D. Keltner and M. N. Shiota (see record 2003-02341-013) on the present authors' original article, which studied symmetric and asymmetric facial expressions of emotion and found a high frequency of asymmetric expressions corresponding to c...
Article
Free association patterns to the word “food” (first three words that come to mind) are used at the group level to investigate “default” attitudes toward food, comparing genders, American generations (college students, their parents, and their grandparents), and college students in three cultures (the United States, France, and India). Frequencies o...
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We hypothesize that there is a general bias, based on both innate predispositions and experience, in animals and humans, to give greater weight to negative entities (e.g., events, objects, personal traits). This is manifested in 4 ways: (a) negative potency (negative entities are stronger than the equivalent positive entities), (b) steeper negative...
Article
Sixty-eight undergraduate students experienced 32 hands-on tasks designed to provide a behavioral validation for the paper-and-pencil Disgust Scale, which the students had completed 2 months before. Tasks assessed participant-determined degree of exposure (looking at, picking up, touching, and in some cases eating) to objects such as a cockroach, c...
Article
We describe a rather common process that we call moralization, in which objects or activities that were previously morally neutral acquire a moral component. Moralization converts preferences into values, and in doing so influences cross-generational transmission (because values are passed more effectively in families than are preferences), increas...
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We present evidence suggesting that most people see their work as either a Job (focus on financial rewards and necessity rather than pleasure or fulfillment; not a major positive part of life), a Career (focus on advancement), or a Calling (focus on enjoyment of fulfilling, socially useful work). Employees at two work sites (n= 196) with a wide ran...
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Full-text available
We present evidence suggesting that most people see their work as either a Job (focus on financial rewards and necessity rather than pleasure or fulfillment; not a major positive part of life), a Career (focus on advancement), or a Calling (focus on enjoyment of fulfilling, socially useful work). Employees at two work sites (n 196) with a wide rang...
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Three surveys of American undergraduate students explore a central aspect of the concept of "physical self:" the vulnerability or sensitivity of different parts of the body surface, especially apertures, to intrusion and contamination. The basic measure used was rated displeasure at imagined contact of various body parts of the subject with plain n...
Article
We describe the development of a reliable measure of individual differences in disgust sensitivity. The 32-item Disgust Scale includes 2 true-false and 2 disgust-rating items for each of 7 domains of disgust elicitors (food, animals, body products, sex, body envelope violations, death, and hygiene) and for a domain of magical thinking (via similari...
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what is happening on the "hither" side of religious experience (i.e., its psychophysiological rootedness), it can tell us nothing of the "farther" side of such experiences (i.e., their ultimate connection to transcendent powers). Advances in psychological knowledge do not, in James's view, refute religion because most (though not all) religious tra...
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describe the meaning of disgust within both developmental and cultural contexts / argue for a path of development in individuals and cultures that extends from the presumed origin of disgust as a rejection response to bad tastes, to the full range of elicitors described [certain foods or potential foods; body products; certain animals; certain sexu...
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In accord with both the sympathetic magical law of similarity and the principle of nominal realism, previous research has shown that American adults have difficulty in ignoring a label indicating toxicity on a food, even though they know the label is false. This study confirms the finding, and shows that there is some reluctance to choose or consum...
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The law of contagion put forth about 100 yrs ago to account for magical belief systems in traditional cultures holds that when 2 objects (usually animate) come into contact with each other, there is a potentially permanent exchange of properties between them. The operation of this principle in the interpersonal domain was explored by questionnaire...
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This study asked five groups of respondents (including high school students, college students, and rail commuters) for percentage estimates of demographic and sex-stereotyped occupational categories. These estimates were compared with U.S. Census data for, and television representation of, the same categories. results indicate that the groups of re...
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Charles Darwin behavior theory adaptive-evolutionary approach cognition / language / perception nature / nurture / evolution of plasticity food selection / rat: a study of omnivory food selection in other generalists auto shaping and food recognition varieties of complex and plastic adaptations (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA...
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Investigated the operation of 2 laws of sympathetic magic in 50 American adults (aged 17–50 yrs) using both measurements in the laboratory and questionnaire response. The 1st law, contagion, holds that "once in contact, always in contact." That is, there can be a permanent transfer of properties from one object (usually animate) to another by brief...
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24 19–35 yr olds who had been drinking 2–11 cups of coffee daily for at least 1 yr were offered coffee and hot apple juice both with and without caffeine to test the hypothesis that greater tolerance (less salivation) would occur when caffeine was presented in the familiar context (coffee), which would set the conditioned opponent response in motio...
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It has been suggested that part of the widespread preference for chih pepper can be explained as a desensitization of the chemical irritant receptors in the mouth, produced by continued exposure to chili pepper. To evaluate this possibility, we measure detection thresholds and salivary response of subjects who vary in liking for chili pepper and am...
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Notes that magical thinking generally provides a way to promote meaning and understanding of the many baffling events that occur in the world of any human. Topics discussed in this chapter include the following: the laws of sympathetic magic, the law of similarity, and the law of contagion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserve...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Trying to understand how nutritional science and public health medicine affect, and are affected by, culture and society.