ESR3 The role of emotions, personality traits and sensory sensitivity in food preferences in children (preadolescents)

Photo CC: Joe Urrutia/Nofima


(1) To develop age and product specific methods to measure emotions elicited by food in preadolescents by using a verbal-visual adaptation of the EmoSemio approach including: preliminary interviews by modified Repertory Grid Method to investigate the emotions elicited by the food categories; interview analysis by semiotic methodology, to select and “translate” the selected emotions in images; sorting/mapping tasks with the images to map emotional territories; development of a verbal-visual questionnaire (using images and words) to measure emotional responses in specific contexts.

(2) To study the effect of sensory sensitivity (by measuring fungiform papillae density) on emotions elicited by food.

(3) To study the relationships between sensory sensitivity, emotions and liking

Expected results:

Differences in emotions and in sensory sensitivity may have important implications on the selection of specific food and on the amount eaten. We expect a different pattern of liking and emotions elicited by different foods in children that differ in sensory sensitivity. These factors can drive healthy/unhealthy food choices and eating behaviour. 3 papers submitted.

Planned secondments:

(1) Academic research project through a secondment with beneficiary Nofima during 6 months directed to the exploration of emotion measurement approaches and collecting responses in the two countries (Italy and Norway) in order to conduct a cross cultural study.

(2) Applied research project with Sammontana, 3 months, directed to the exploration of emotion measurement approaches in connection to a product development project (e.g. reduced sugar, healthier ice-cream).

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