Forget Comfort Food: We Shun It in Turmoil

Studies suggest we don't seek solace in the familiar
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 1:55 PM CDT
Forget Comfort Food: We Shun It in Turmoil
Comfort food may not be what we seek during times of change.   (Shutterstock)

Conventional wisdom has it that when we face big changes, we look to the familiar to get us through—whether it’s comfort food or music we’ve loved for years. But new studies suggest the opposite is true, that “change begets change,” in the words of one researcher. For example, subjects offered familiar or exotic food were more likely to try the latter if their lives were changing, reports Time.

To find out more, the researcher tried another experiment: She asked subjects whether they were experiencing change, then offered them choices of familiar and unfamiliar items from deodorant to song downloads. The results were similar to the first study. “Changing circumstances may break habitual cues that favor old favorites and promote a more general 'change mindset' in the individual,” she wrote in the Journal of Consumer Research.
(More change stories.)

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