Snacks Offer Clues to Emotions

A study of snacking behavior by AdSAM®, a non-verbal process of measuring emotional response, discovered that people’s snacking behaviors were connected to their emotional state of mind at the time they ate the snack.

The study also found differences in snacking purchase by age and the place of purchase. For instance, people tended to buy different brands when shopping in the grocery store vs. a mass retailer.

In another study involving one a popular soft drink, three-fourths of the people sampled planned to buy the beverage based on how they felt about the brand rather than how it tasted. The quality of the product or other tangible factors were much less important than their emotional attachment to the product.

“Tapping into and understanding emotions permits us to more fully comprehend why people think and act the way they do,” explained Jon Morris, president of Gainesville, Fla.-based AdSAM and a communications professor at the University of Florida. “Human responses are generally a combination of rational and emotional processing.”

Most measuring tools depend on a person’s ability to evaluate his own thoughts and translate them into a ranking-type scale. “A more accurate prediction of behavior could be achieved if more emphasis was placed on the non-rational aspects of behavior,” noted Morris.

Since emotions are the precursor to action, this type of polling device delves deeply into a person’s emotions to interpret and predict attitudes, preferences and behavior.

AdSAM employs a cutting-edge non-verbal, cross-cultural, visual measure that taps into the core of human emotional responses. The process aims to identify the relationship among attitude, cognition, brand interest and purchase intention.
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