Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Catherine Forestell

Committee Members

Dr. Elizabeth Raposa

Dr. Meghan Sinton Miller

Dr. Robert Scholnick

Abstract

This research study examined the effects of color, texture, and odor on vegetable acceptance in children who ranged in their food neophobic tendencies. Seventy nine children ages three to six years completed a behavioral task in which the color (yellow or green), texture (blended corn or kernels of corn), and orthonasal odor (no added odor or green vegetable odor) of cream-based vegetable soup (corn chowder) samples were manipulated in a repeated measures design. Overall, children rated the yellow samples more positively than the green samples prior to trying them. They also consumed more of the samples that were yellow than those that were green, more of those without an added odor than those with a green vegetable odor, and marginally more of those that were chunky than those that were smooth. Moreover, the effects of the sensory characteristics appeared to be additive; children consumed less of the samples that contained at least two of the unliked sensory characteristics relative to those that did not. Children who were neophobic rated the samples more negatively and consumed less of the soup overall compared to non-neophobic children. Neophobic children were also less willing to try the samples than the non-neophobic children overall, with the exception of the green, chunky samples. In contrast non-neophobic children ate significantly more of the yellow, chunky soup relative to the other samples. These results suggest that children incorporate familiar sensory cues into their food-related schemata and utilize them when determining whether to try novel foods.

Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2021

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