Previous research has suggested that preoccupying thoughts caused by food craving can impair performance on working memory tasks. This study tests this hypothesis by giving a baseline test of working memory and then randomly assigning participants to one of three experimental groups: 1) cookie craving unsatisfied, 2) cookie craving satisfied, and 3) a control group. Participants in the craving unsatisfied group were given a large chocolate chip cookie and told to look at it and smell it, but not eat it. Instead, they were given celery to eat. Participants in the craving satisfied group were permitted to eat the cookie. We hypothesize that working memory will decline for the craving unsatisfied group but rebound for the group that is allowed to eat the cookie. Implications for the role of preoccupying thoughts in working memory performance will be discussed.
Salem Psychology Students:
Catherine Shirey is a senior psychology major planning to go into mortuary science.