How do motivational states change attitude reports? The influence of hunger on the informational bases of food attitudes

Shelley Noreen Aikman, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

The goal of these studies was to investigate how hunger influences food attitudes. Because research suggests that attitude change occurs when subsets of information underlying attitudes are highlighted, the present studies examined the influence of hunger on the information underlying food attitudes. In order to do so, the informational bases underlying food attitudes had to first be identified. Studies 1a and 1b identified five informational bases across a variety of foods: abstract cognitive qualities, positive affect, negative affect, general sensory qualities, and specific sensory qualities. Study 2 then examined the influence of hunger on these bases, identifying several ways in which hunger changes the information underlying food attitudes by influencing the accessibility, predictive importance, and evaluative ratings of the information. These findings were compared to attitude change as a function of a more traditional priming technique (Study 3), revealing that the influence of hunger is both similar and dissimilar to that of priming. Consistent with expectations and with the hunger findings, priming was found to influence the accessibility and predictive importance of the information primed. Priming, however, did not change the evaluative ratings of underlying information as hunger did. This suggests that hunger does not merely prime or make certain information more salient—it changes the evaluative nature of the information underlying food attitudes. The implications of these findings both for food selection and for attitude theory more generally are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Health Sciences, Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Aikman, Shelley Noreen, "How do motivational states change attitude reports? The influence of hunger on the informational bases of food attitudes" (2003). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3104668.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3104668

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