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Associative Learning and Conditioning TheoryHuman and Non-Human Applications$
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Todd R. Schachtman and Steve S. Reilly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735969

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735969.001.0001

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Learning to Eat

Learning to Eat

The Influence of Food Cues on What, When, and How Much We Eat

Chapter:
(p.290) Chapter 13 Learning to Eat
Source:
Associative Learning and Conditioning Theory
Author(s):

Janet Polivy

C. Peter Herman

Laura Girz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735969.003.0092

Humans must learn what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This chapter reviews the evidence that sensory food cues such as the sight and smell of food become conditioned stimuli for the foods, the unconditioned stimuli, with which they are paired. Research on children and adults supports the contention that various kinds of food cues signal what, when, and how much to eat on any given occasion, and that some types of individuals, namely obese people and chronically dieting restrained eaters, are more responsive to these cues. The super-abundance of food cues in our current environments may well be signaling us to eat more often and larger amounts than we need, and they may be contributing to increased obesity.

Keywords:   obesity, sensory food cues, normative food cues, self-control, overeating, restrained eating

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