Vanilla Yogurt Could Boost Your Mood

First Posted: Nov 12, 2015 08:46 PM EST

What we eat can influence our mood, particularly if we're surprised or disappointed with a certain food product, according to a recent study.

During the study, researchers looked at what emotional effects eating different yogurts had on people. They used a new method known as an emotive projection test to determine the effect of different yogurts on people's moods; this involved showing study participants photographs on six positive and six negative traits. According to researchers, the idea behind the test is that "people project their emotions onto others, so their judgment of other scould indicate their own mood."

Three groups of 24 participants were given a pair of yogurts to taste--all of which had the same brand or were marketed in the same way, but with different fat content and flavors. Then, they tested the participants emotions via four methods, including a new emotive projection test. 

While the study results showed that liking or being familiar with a product had no effect on emotion, changes in whether they liked it after tasting the yogurt did. For instance, if they were pleasantly surprised or disappointed by the outcome, this influenced mood. 

Furthermore, the researchers also looked at the sensory effect of the yogurts. They found that while flavor did not trigger an emotional response (such as strawberry versus pineapple yogurts), low-fat versions led to more positive and stronger responses. Of all the yogurts, vanilla yogurt was known for giving a strong emotional response. This reiterates the findings in previous studies that have shown how a subtle vanilla scent in places can reduce feelings of aggression and even encourage positive relationships. 

The study is published in the journal Food Research International. 

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