Sunday, February 21, 2010

“Word for Word/ Junk Food Psychology; Triscuits and Cheez Doodles As Windows Into the Soul.”

February, National Snack Food Month, the pertinence of following your craving when picking your super bowl snack foods is connected to specific personality traits. Dr. Hirsch’s paper, “Snack Food Hedonics and Personality,” describes that through both our conscious and unconscious choices as to which movies we see, what type of clothes we wear, and lovers we choose, “we reveal inner thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires,” tapping into our most inner feelings.

Dr. Hirsch hypothesizes that our senses of taste and smell of specific foods may reduce psychological tension. Our cravings that lead us to follow our desires of “junk” might actually be the repression of conflicts. The addiction to a specific comfort food could then be associated with “inherent personality structure.” There was an experiment that was conducted with 800 volunteers that took a series of personality, depression, and other psychological tests that were then compared by their preferences of snack foods ie. potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, crackers, cheese curls and meat snacks. Their families were then also tested to take in account the surrounding social environment.

The results span from the potato chip eater that is, “ambitious, successful, [and a] high achiever” to the meat snack lover which is, “gregarious, social,” and tend to be taken advantage of by their generosity. The study reveals that you can make conclusive analysis on the personality of people from what they tend to crave and eat. This experiment is in the process of establishing research in cross-geographic and cross-cultural validity to the experiment. There seems to be more truth to the phrase, “you are what you eat” than we think.

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