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Title: Tender food, tender hearts : the metaphorical mapping of hard-soft orosensory signals to interpersonal trust and prosocial tendencies
Authors: Cheon, Bobby Kyungbeom
Tan, Kah Min
Lee, Li Ling
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Cheon, B. K., Tan, K. M., & Lee, L. L. (2019). Tender food, tender hearts : the metaphorical mapping of hard-soft orosensory signals to interpersonal trust and prosocial tendencies. Food Quality and Preference, 71, 242-249. doi:10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.07.006
Journal: Food Quality and Preference
Abstract: Prior research has revealed that flavors (sweetness) may metaphorically influence social judgements and behaviors (interpersonal ‘sweetness’). Given the inherently social nature of eating, other food related sensory signals beyond flavor may be conceptually mapped to social cognition and behavior. Here we tested the hypothesis that oral processing of foods with soft (vs. hard) textures may metaphorically facilitate (vs. inhibit) social behaviors conceptually associated with ‘tenderness’ or ‘soft-heartedness’. Two studies examined the influence of imagined (Study 1) and actual (Study 2) oral processing of soft (vs. hard foods) on prosocial tendencies. Study 1 revealed that greater magnitude of sensory characteristics associated with imagined consumption of a hard food (i.e., dryness) was predictive of decreased interpersonal trust. Using actual food consumption in an interpersonal context, Study 2 demonstrated increased interpersonal trust and charitable donation of time after oral processing of soft (vs. hard) food and suggested that this effect is a result of enhanced trust following consumption of soft food rather than suppression of trust following consumption of hard food. Although effects were modest, these findings provide initial suggestions that orosensory metaphors that shape social cognition are not limited to flavors (e.g., sweetness, spiciness), and that diverse properties of food may influence patterns of sociality.
ISSN: 0950-3293
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.07.006
Rights: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Food Quality and Preference and is made available with permission of Elsevier Ltd.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Journal Articles

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