Imagine this. You go on a holiday to Indonesia, and you are served a dish that you have never seen before. The texture, smell, and presentation all look rather bizarre! But here’s the question; would you be willing to taste the dish? Or would you run around to find the nearest McDonalds?
There seems to be a difference in how people perceive situations in which novel foods are presented to them. Some people are excited to try new foods, and love to explore various types of cuisines. On the other hand, some would prefer to just stick to their familiar eating habits, and are not very open to trying new things. This is known as picky eating.
Picky eating is something that is often seen in children, but adults can struggle with it too. Picky eaters tend to have a limited set of foods they like, which are often prepared in a certain way. They might even reject familiar foods if they smell, look or taste different than usual.
Picky eaters often lack a varied diet, which can be problematic since a varied diet is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle. So, we set out to investigate whether having a positive interpretation bias could make someone less picky. If that would be the case, we could pave the way to help encourage those with picky eating to eat a broader range of foods.
In certain studies, we have seen that changing the interpretation bias can decrease levels of anxiety. If you are curious whether it can also impact people’s level of pickiness in eating, stay tuned for our research results!