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Psychol Sci. 2008 Mar;19(3):255-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02077.x.

Toward a physiology of dual-process reasoning and judgment: lemonade, willpower, and expensive rule-based analysis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4301, USA. masicampo@psy.fsu.edu

Abstract

This experiment used the attraction effect to test the hypothesis that ingestion of sugar can reduce reliance on intuitive, heuristic-based decision making. In the attraction effect, a difficult choice between two options is swayed by the presence of a seemingly irrelevant "decoy" option. We replicated this effect and the finding that the effect increases when people have depleted their mental resources performing a previous self-control task. Our hypothesis was based on the assumption that effortful processes require and consume relatively large amounts of glucose (brain fuel), and that this use of glucose is why people use heuristic strategies after exerting self-control. Before performing any tasks, some participants drank lemonade sweetened with sugar, which restores blood glucose, whereas others drank lemonade containing a sugar substitute. Only lemonade with sugar reduced the attraction effect. These results show one way in which the body (blood glucose) interacts with the mind (self-control and reliance on heuristics).

PMID:
18315798
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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