Better moods for better eating? How mood influences food choice

Meryl P. Gardner, Brian Wansink, Junyong Kim, Se-Bum Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)


How do moods influence one's preference for foods? By introducing the role of enjoyment- versus health-oriented benefits of foods in the mood and food consumption relationship, this research informs both temporal construal theory and mood management framework by positing that mood influences the choice between healthy versus indulgent foods through its impact on temporal construal, which alters the weights people put on long-term health benefits versus short-term mood management benefits when making choices. The results from four experiments show that a positive mood cues distal, abstract construal and increases the salience of long-term goals such as health, leading to greater preference for healthy foods over indulgent foods. The results also show that a negative mood cues proximal construal and increases the salience of immediate, concrete goals such as mood management, leading to greater preference for indulgent foods over healthy foods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-335
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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