Can tasty food make you want chocolate, a massage or even sex and heroin?

In this research, the authors show that sampling a consumption cue (e.g., a flavored beverage) that is high in incentive value (i.e., tastes good) not only enhances subsequent consumption of other similar consumption cues (e.g., Pepsi) but also prompts people to seek anything rewarding (e.g., chocolate, a massage). The authors propose that this phenomenon, which they term “reverse alliesthesia,” occurs as a result of the activation of a general motivational state by cues that are high in incentive value. They test this proposition by showing that the effect is (1) attenuated if the activated motivational state is satiated before the subsequent consumption task and (2) stronger for people who are high rather than low on the behavioral activation system scale. Finally, the authors extend their core findings to nongustatory cues by showing that (un)pleasant odors can also lead to an increase (decrease) in subsequent reward-seeking behaviors.

Source: “A Bite to Whet the Reward Appetite: The Influence of Sampling on Reward-Seeking Behaviors” from Journal of Marketing Research, Volume: 45, Issue: 4, Cover date: August 2008, Page(s): 403-413

Interesting; I know a lot of people who just want a little taste of something thinking that will satiate them. Seems it has the reverse effect.

If you’re looking for discipline in the classic sense, it starts here and here. The modern practical approach is probably here and here.

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Is self-control contagious?

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