We are What We Consume: The Influence of Food Consumption on Impulsive Choice

Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2009

See all articles by Arul Mishra

Arul Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Himanshu Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Date Written: November 1, 2009

Abstract

Impulsive choice exhibited by consumers has been traditionally attributed to either contextual factors such as product attributes, store environment, or an individual’s personality traits. In this paper, the authors find that type of food consumed can also influence impulsive choice. Specifically, food that enhances the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, can reduce impulsive choice. To test the hypotheses on the influence of serotonin on post-consumption impulsive choice, the authors collected data on the eve of Thanksgiving. The occasion of Thanksgiving dinner provided a naturalistic setting in which people consumed a tryptophan-rich meal (tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin). The authors replicated these findings and obtained converging evidence in a lab setting in which some participants were provided with a tryptophan-rich beverage and their post-consumption impulsive choices were observed.

Keywords: serotonin, impulsivity, food-consumption, impulsive choice, tryptophan, Go/no-go, consumer behavior

JEL Classification: M30, M31, C91, C93

Suggested Citation

Mishra, Arul and Mishra, Himanshu, We are What We Consume: The Influence of Food Consumption on Impulsive Choice (November 1, 2009). Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498082

Arul Mishra (Contact Author)

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

Himanshu Mishra

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9304
United States

HOME PAGE: http://himanshumishra.com

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
340
rank
85,359
Abstract Views
4,065
PlumX Metrics