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Give us today our daily bread: The effect of hunger on consumers’ visual attention towards bread and the role of time orientation

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  • Kerstin Gidlöf
  • ,
  • Gastón Ares, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
  • Tobias Otterbring, University of Agder

This study investigated the effect of hunger on consumers’ visual attention during a food choice task, and the role of time orientation (i.e., present and future orientation) in this interplay. A lab-based eye-tracking experiment including 102 participants was conducted, with hunger as the manipulated factor (hungry, satiated). Participants in the satiated condition were served a breakfast buffet before the experimental tasks, whereas participants in the hungry condition were served the buffet after completion of the tasks. Both groups were exposed to a set of planograms depicting supermarket shelves and were asked to choose an option they could consider buying, while their eye movements were recorded. Stimuli included non-food items as well as the key category of interest, Swedish crisp bread. After completion of the eye-tracking recordings, participants indicated their time orientation as well as their height and weight, which were used to calculate body mass index (BMI). The results revealed that hunger (vs. satiation) increased participants’ present orientation and visual attention towards bread, but decreased their future orientation, with participants’ present orientation mediating the effect of hunger on visual attention. Additional exploratory analyses revealed a positive correlation between participants’ BMI and their present orientation. Taken together, the results offer several fruitful avenues for future research, which may be used to promote public health. Moreover, the findings contribute to the literature by documenting that hungry individuals do not necessarily make more rapid decisions in drive-relevant domains; rather, they may actually devote a larger share of their attentional resources in the food domain, given their desire to acquire food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104079
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume88
Number of pages7
ISSN0950-3293
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • BMI, Decision-making, Eye tracking, Future orientation, Hunger, Present orientation, Time orientation, Visual attention

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