Eating: Red Effects (01-06-22)

Steele and Rash evaluated how use of the color red on dishes influences eating.  They report that that two previously published “articles hypothesized that exposure to the color red would induce a state of avoidance motivation and reported that snack food consumption was decreased when the food was served on red plates, relative to white and blue plates. The current experiment combined their procedures and approximately tripled their group sizes. Participants were provided with pretzels on red, white, or blue plates in a mock sensory analysis task. The results indicated that more pretzels were consumed when presented on red plates, in direct contradiction of previous results. Alternative explanations, such as group differences in hunger or preference for pretzels, could not account for the results. The facilitation effect of red indicates that the color red does not always reduce snack food consumption and suggests that the reported inhibitory effect of red on snack consumption may not be reliable.”

Kenneth Steele and Laura Rash.  2021.  “Is the Suppression Effect of the Color Red on Snack Food Consumption Reliable?  Experimental Psychology, vol. 68, no. 4, pp. 214-220, https://doi.org/10.1027/1618-3169/a000524