You are what you eat: An empirical investigation of the relationship between spicy food and aggressive cognition

Batra, R K and Ghoshal, T and Raghunathan, R (2017) You are what you eat: An empirical investigation of the relationship between spicy food and aggressive cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 71. pp. 42-48.

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Abstract

The popular saying “you are what you eat” suggests that people take on the characteristics of the food they eat. Wisdom from ancient texts and practitioners of alternative medicine seem to share the intuition that consuming spicy food may increase aggression. However, this relationship has not been empirically tested. In this research, we posit that those who consume “hot” and “spicy” food may be more prone to thoughts related to aggression. Across three studies, we find evidence for this proposition. Study 1 reveals that those who typically consume spicy food exhibit higher levels of trait aggression. Studies 2 and 3 reveal, respectively, that consumption of, and even mere exposure to spicy food, can semantically activate concepts related to aggression as well as lead to higher levels of perceived aggressive intent in others. Our work contributes to the literature on precursors of aggression, and has substantive implications for several stakeholders, including marketers, parents and policy makers.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creators:
ISB CreatorsORCiD
Batra, R KUNSPECIFIED
Ghoshal, TUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aggressive cognition; Aggressive intent; Spicy food
Subjects: Business Innovation
Business Strategy
Depositing User: Veeramani R
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2017 22:34
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2017 22:34
URI: http://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/513
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.01.007
Publisher OA policy: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0022-1031/
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