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What Influences Our Food Likes and Dislikes?

Evaluative conditioning is defined as a change in liking, which occurs due to an association with a positive or negative stimulus (De Hower et al., 2001).

Simply put, this means that our preferences for brands, products, people and other things can be influenced and even modified by the presence of something we like or dislike strongly.

Evaluative conditioning has also been associated with the development of food likes and dislikes.  Humans develop a dislike for foods that are followed by negative consequences such as nausea, rashes, diarrhea, and breathing problems (Pelchat & Rozin, 1982).  Taste aversions are derived from various situations, such as food poisoning, allergic reactions, over consumption and some medical treatments (Batsell & Brown, 1998). 

Although the majority of developed food aversions are attributed to the taste or flavor of food, a proportion of aversions are related to smell (de Silva & Rachman, 1987). 

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What Influences Our Food Likes and Dislikes?

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  1. i remember a story from 7th grade art class. the teacher went to a seminar on color and they served a nice steak and potatoes dinner but colored the food; mashed potatoes were purple, steak was blue. everyone had trouble eating. i also remember cooking round steak in mushroom gravy and getting the flu that night for 4 days. couldn’t eat that for 3 years.


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