Healthy Reflections: The Influence of Mirror Induced Self-Awareness on Taste Perceptions
Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1 (1), 2016, Forthcoming
39 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2015
Date Written: September 20, 2015
Taste, as a focal aspect of food products, plays a major role in food consumption decisions as well as consumers’ eating habits. Here, we show that the taste perception of unhealthy food is malleable, and the presence of a mirror can make unhealthy food less tasty by increasing self-awareness. After eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror, individuals experience the discomfort of acting against the standards of healthy eating. We argue that people attribute this discomfort to the food’s taste since it is difficult to attribute the discomfort to the self while being self-aware. Four studies test the proposed effect of mirror on food taste and consumption, and examine its boundary conditions.
Keywords: Mirror, Self-awareness, Food, Taste, Healthy, Unhealthy, Attribution
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