Abstract

Eating disorder tendencies are psychological characteristics that are prevalent in healthy young females and are known to be among the risk factors for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. People with greater eating disorder tendencies strongly associate sweet and fatty foods with weight gain and strictly avoid consuming such foods. However, little is known about how eating disorder tendencies influence the association between taste and body shape impression. Research on crossmodal correspondences suggests that people preferentially associate sweet tastes with round shapes, and individual differences affect the degree of such associations. This study investigates how the degree of taste–shape matching is related to eating disorder tendencies with a preliminary investigation of what mediates this relationship. Two experiments were conducted: in Experiment 1, healthy participants rated the degree of association between basic taste words (sweet/sour/salty/bitter) and roundness of shape and subsequently completed questionnaires addressing eating disorder tendencies. In Experiment 2, participants answered additional questionnaires addressing obsessiveness, dichotomous thinking, and self-esteem. The results of Experiment 1 indicated a positive correlation between drive for thinness, which is one indicator of an eating disorder tendency, and the degree of matching sweetness to round shape. Experiment 2 replicated the results of Experiment 1 and revealed the mediating effect of obsessiveness. These findings suggest a relationship between individual differences in taste–shape matching and eating disorder tendency and the preliminary mediating role of obsessiveness. The present study provides new insight into the role of sweet–round matching in eating disorder tendencies and the associated psychological mechanisms.

In: Multisensory Research

Abstract

We have seen a rapid growth of interest in cross-modal correspondences between sound and taste over recent years. People consistently associate higher-pitched sounds with sweet/sour foods, while lower-pitched sounds tend to be associated with bitter foods. The human voice is key in broadcast advertising, and the role of voice in communication generally is partly characterized by acoustic parameters of pitch. However, it remains unknown whether voice pitch and taste interactively influence consumer behavior. Since consumers prefer congruent sensory information, it is plausible that voice pitch and taste interactively influence consumers’ responses to advertising stimuli. Based on the cross-modal correspondence phenomenon, this study aimed to elucidate the role played by voice pitch–taste correspondences in advertising effectiveness. Participants listened to voiceover advertisements (at a higher or lower pitch than the original narrator’s voice) for three food products with distinct tastes (sweet, sour, and bitter) and rated their buying intention (an indicator of advertising effectiveness). The results show that the participants were likely to exhibit greater buying intention toward both sweet and sour food when they listened to higher-pitched (vs lower-pitched) voiceover advertisements. The influence of a higher pitch on sweet and sour food preferences was observed in only two of the three studies: studies 1 and 2 for sour food, and studies 2 and 3 for sweet food. These findings emphasize the role that voice pitch–taste correspondence plays in preference formation, and advance the applicability of cross-modal correspondences to business.

In: Auditory Contributions to Food Perception and Consumer Behaviour

Abstract

We have seen a rapid growth of interest in cross-modal correspondences between sound and taste over recent years. People consistently associate higher-pitched sounds with sweet/sour foods, while lower-pitched sounds tend to be associated with bitter foods. The human voice is key in broadcast advertising, and the role of voice in communication generally is partly characterized by acoustic parameters of pitch. However, it remains unknown whether voice pitch and taste interactively influence consumer behavior. Since consumers prefer congruent sensory information, it is plausible that voice pitch and taste interactively influence consumers’ responses to advertising stimuli. Based on the cross-modal correspondence phenomenon, this study aimed to elucidate the role played by voice pitch–taste correspondences in advertising effectiveness. Participants listened to voiceover advertisements (at a higher or lower pitch than the original narrator’s voice) for three food products with distinct tastes (sweet, sour, and bitter) and rated their buying intention (an indicator of advertising effectiveness). The results show that the participants were likely to exhibit greater buying intention toward both sweet and sour food when they listened to higher-pitched (vs lower-pitched) voiceover advertisements. The influence of a higher pitch on sweet and sour food preferences was observed in only two of the three studies: studies 1 and 2 for sour food, and studies 2 and 3 for sweet food. These findings emphasize the role that voice pitch–taste correspondence plays in preference formation, and advance the applicability of cross-modal correspondences to business.

In: Multisensory Research