Clutter, Chaos, and Overconsumption: The Role of Mind-Set in Stressful and Chaotic Food Environments
Vartanian, Lenny R., Kristin M. Kernan, and Brian Wansink (2016), “Clutter, Chaos, and Overconsumption: The Role of Mind-Set in Stressful and Chaotic Food Environments,” Environment and Behavior. Online First: doi: 10.1177/0013916516628178.
15 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2016 Last revised: 28 Apr 2017
Date Written: January 6, 2016
How do cluttered, chaotic environments – such as messy kitchens – influence snacking behavior? How does one’s mindset help prevent unwanted snacking from occurring?
101 female undergraduate students participated under standard kitchen conditions or in a chaotic kitchen condition. Participants were also asked to recall and write about a time when they felt particularly in control or particularly out of control. Finally, participants were given cookies, crackers, and carrots to taste and rate.
Participants in the chaotic kitchen condition and the out-of-control mind-set condition consumed more cookies (103 kcal) than did participants who were in the in-control mind-set condition (38 kcal). The chaotic environment had no impact on consumption of crackers or carrots.
Although a chaotic environment can create a vulnerability to making unhealthy food choices, one’s mind-set in that environment can either trigger or buffer against that vulnerability.
Keywords: food intake, environmental chaos, personal control, mind-set, messy, clutter, consumption, trigger
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