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The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption$
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Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027670

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.001.0001

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Simple Heuristics for Deciding What to Eat

Simple Heuristics for Deciding What to Eat

(p.97) 5 Simple Heuristics for Deciding What to Eat
The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

M. Todd Peter

L. Minard Sara

The MIT Press

How do people decide what, and how much, to eat? There is considerable evidence that many of our food decisions are made mindlessly, without our awareness (Wansink, 2006); but even when we do consider them consciously, we are likely to make quick choices without much consideration. This fits with broader findings that people usually employ bounded rationality—making decisions based on little information or deliberation. Here we describe three studies of such quick decision making in the realm of food: meal choices, consumption rules, and following diet guidelines. In all three, many people make their choices based on quick judgments and little information. We discuss the implications of such decision behavior for how to structure the environment so that people will make better choices regarding their diet.

Keywords:   Food decisions, Bounded rationality, Consciousness, Meal choices, Consumption rules, Diet guidelines

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