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Physiol Behav. 2002 Aug;76(4-5):551-8.

The effects of manipulated arousal on children's willingness to taste novel foods.

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Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 1C6.


We examined the effects of manipulated arousal on willingness to taste moderately novel and extremely novel foods in children ranging from 7 to 12 years of age. Children were assigned at random to one of three arousal conditions (low, moderate, and high). Twice during the 30-min manipulation period, the children rated their willingness to taste the foods, with the understanding that these ratings would be used to determine which foods they would taste later in the session. Results of an Age x Gender x Arousal condition analysis on willingness to try the novel foods revealed a significant effect of arousal condition; willingness increased with decreasing arousal. Separate analyses for the moderately and extremely novel foods yielded significant condition and age effects for the former and no significant effects for the latter. The results were discussed in the context of optimal level of arousal theories.

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