Volume 24, Issue 3 p. 320-335
Research Article

Better moods for better eating?: How mood influences food choice

Meryl P. Gardner,

Corresponding Author

Meryl P. Gardner

Marketing at University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA

⁎Corresponding authors.Search for more papers by this author
Brian Wansink,

Brian Wansink

Applied Economics, of Nutritional Science, and of Marketing at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Search for more papers by this author
Junyong Kim,

Junyong Kim

Marketing at Hanyang University, ERICA Campus, Ansan, Kyunggi-do 426-791, Republic of Korea

Search for more papers by this author
Se-Bum Park,

Corresponding Author

Se-Bum Park

Marketing at School of Business, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea

⁎Corresponding authors.Search for more papers by this author
First published: 25 January 2014
Citations: 108

Abstract

How do moods influence one's preference for foods? By introducing the role of enjoyment- versus health-oriented benefits of foods in the mood and food consumption relationship, this research informs both temporal construal theory and mood management framework by positing that mood influences the choice between healthy versus indulgent foods through its impact on temporal construal, which alters the weights people put on long-term health benefits versus short-term mood management benefits when making choices. The results from four experiments show that a positive mood cues distal, abstract construal and increases the salience of long-term goals such as health, leading to greater preference for healthy foods over indulgent foods. The results also show that a negative mood cues proximal construal and increases the salience of immediate, concrete goals such as mood management, leading to greater preference for indulgent foods over healthy foods.