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Fear Reduces Perceived Sweetness: Changes in the Perception of Taste due to Emotional State.

posted on 2019-10-03, 20:13 authored by Naoya ZushiNaoya Zushi, Midori Ogawa, Saho Ayabe-Kanamura

This study manipulated the emotional state of participants by having them watch movies involving comedy, horror, and beautiful scenery. High state anxiety was triggered among the participants who watched a horror movie, and high juice consumption was confirmed among them. The perception of sweetness of the mixed juice was found to be reduced in the horror movie group compared to the other two groups, while the comedy movie group participants were found to have tasted less bitterness than did the horror movie group participants. Furthermore, the relationship between liking the juice and sweetness was found to differ according to emotional state. This study confirms that our emotional state affects our perception of taste, including that feeling fear and anxiety can reduce the perception of sweetness. These findings suggest that our emotional state may affect our perception of taste.




Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Japan

Lead author job role

  • Postgraduate Student

Lead author institution

Graduate school of Comprehensive Human Science, University of Tsukuba

Human Participants

  • Yes

Ethics statement

Prior to conducting this study, approval was obtained from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tsukuba. All participants were informed regarding what the task entailed and provided written informed consent to participate.


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