In the cognitive design blog we focus on how minds (individual, group and machine) actually work and how we can turn those insights into innovations. Take for example, food psychology. How we think-and-feel about food controls our consumption behavior and our body mass index. A PLOS research article illustrates this nicely:
“Consumption with large sips led to higher food intake, as expected. Large sips, that were either fixed or chosen by subjects themselves led to underestimations of the amount consumed. This may be a risk factor for over-consumption. Reducing sip or bite sizes may successfully lower food intake, even in a distracted state.”
The effects were significant. For example, they found small bites led to 30% reduction in consumption if subjects were not distracted by watching a movie while they ate.
It appears that our minds are at some level deciding if we are full or not by counting how many bites or sips we take. Change the size of the bite or sip or interfere with our ability to count and you have a pre-programmed impact on consumption.