How We Eat With Our Eyes

By Fallon MacKenzie
Elementary Category (Grades 4-6)
Study | Psychology

BCVSF Note: The required ethics forms have been submitted for this project.

My project studied how people judge food by the way it looks — or essentially, how we eat with our eyes — and that this may be influenced by how hungry we are.

The idea that we eat with our eyes has been around for centuries and today’s neuroscientists are building a body of evidence to support the idea.

Based on this information, I wanted to test the idea by having study participants (20 classmates) complete a questionnaire that asked them first if they were hungry. They were then asked to choose between five sets of two food items based on appearance, and provide the reason for their choice. The two food items in each set differed in either packaging, size, colour, or texture. There was no tasting of the food. The responses were analyzed using Google Sheets, and bar charts were generated to compare the responses for each of the five sets items.

Study participants were also asked to choose the item in each set that they thought was more expensive. The data generated by that question were not analyzed for this particular project, but I may use it in a subsequent study.

Overall, the results of my study demonstrate that we do indeed eat with our eyes, and maybe especially when we are hungry.

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