The experience and perception of concurrent versus retrospective chocolate cravings

Harriet Taylor


Seventy undergraduate students participated in a self-report study to investigate the perception of concurrent versus retrospective chocolate-related cravings. This study was interested in exploring whether retrospective cravings were reported as more intense than concurrent cravings due to cognitive distortions over time. Results showed that retrospective chocolate cravings were reported as significantly stronger and more urgent (p< .001), and were characterised by more vivid gustatory imagery (p< .025), than concurrent cravings. All other aspects of chocolate craving were reported similarly across groups. This indicates that retrospective measures of chocolate cravings may provide inaccurate representations of the craving experience. This difference may potentially be found with other types of cravings, and for that reason, where possible, concurrent measures of craving should be given priority.

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