Re: But Sweetie, You Love Lima Beans

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Mon Sep 27 2004 - 10:43:04 PDT

I don't think this study would get through my university's Institutional
Review Board.....p

At 12:16 PM 9/27/2004 -0500, you wrote:

>of possible interest, re social cognition
>----- Forwarded by David H Kirshner/dkirsh/LSU on 09/27/2004 12:13 PM -----
> >From the New York Times, Tuesday, August 31, 2004. See
>wanted=print&position= . Abstract appeared on Education Headlines of the
>Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, Monday, August 30, 2004.
>But Sweetie, You Love Lima Beans
>By Benedict Carey
>If only that very first bite of asparagus had inspired delight, and the
>first taste of jelly doughnut caused a stomachache. If children's happiest
>food memories were baked and not fried, leafy green rather than beefy,
>think of the difference in what people might eat.
>Now, think of what it might mean to change those memories - as an adult.
>Psychologists in California and Washington were studying false memories
>when they stumbled on a surprisingly easy target for manipulation: foods.
>In a study accepted for publication in the journal Social Cognition, the
>researchers describe how they fooled college students into thinking that as
>children they had become sick when eating certain foods.
>The students answered questions about their early eating memories. A week
>later, they were presented with a bogus food history profile that embedded
>a single falsehood - that they had gotten sick when eating pickles or
>hard-boiled eggs - among real memories.
>"This is called the false feedback technique, where you gather data from
>the subjects and use it to lend credibility to this false profile," said
>Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California at
>Irvine who led the research.
>But about 40 percent of the 336 participants confirmed in later interviews
>that they remembered getting sick or believed it to be true. Compared with
>a control group, the believers said on questionnaires that they would be
>much more likely to avoid eating pickles or hard-boiled eggs if offered
>them at a party. In another study, just completed, the researchers found
>that people who were told that they loved asparagus as children were much
>more drawn to that slender delicacy than those whose memories were left
>Proust's reflections on tea and cookies notwithstanding, the earliest
>experience of taste is as open to tampering as other memories, Dr. Loftus
>said. If these revisions became permanent, they might affect how and what
>people eat. "What we'd like to do now," Dr. Loftus said, "is take the
>students out for a real picnic and see what happens."

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