Repeatedly imagining the consumption of a food reduces one's appetite for it at that moment, said lead researcher Carey Morewedge, an assistant professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The full article:For the study, published in the Dec. 10 issue of Science, Morewedge's team conducted five experiments. In one, 51 individuals were asked to imagine doing 33 repetitive actions, one at a time. A control group imagined putting 33 coins into a washing machine. Another group imagined putting 30 quarters into the washer and eating three M&Ms. A third group imagined feeding three quarters into the washer and eating 30 M&Ms.
The individuals were then invited to eat freely from a bowl of M&Ms. Those who had imagined eating 30 candies actually ate fewer candies than the others, the researchers found.
To be sure the results were related to imagination, the researchers then mixed up the experiment by changing the number of coins and M&Ms. Again, those who imagined eating the most candies ate the fewest.
In three additional experiments, Morewedge's group confirmed that imagining the eating reduced actual consumption through a process known as habituation. Simply thinking about the food repeatedly or imagining eating a different food did not significantly influence consumption, the researchers also found.
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Sound familiar? To me sounds a lot like the reflection Buddha tells us to do before we act in order to develop right action, and in regards to the 4 noble truths.
This is like when I get an urge to play video games, I think about playing the game and finishing the game, by the time I'm done thinking finishing the game, I think "what's the point?" and don't start playing the video game.