Study: Variety may not be 'spice of life'

Variety, according to the saying, is "the spice of life," but Seoul National University researchers say it might not be as much as we expect it to be.

Contrary to our own predictions, the Korean scientists say we generally get more satisfaction from eating our favorite foods repeatedly, than from having a wide variety of menu options.

Researchers Incheol Choi and Youjae Yi say when it comes to choosing foods for others, we even more egregiously overestimate the desire for variety.

"People will choose more variety for others than for themselves, and this tendency (is) even larger when they have to justify their choices," they said.

The authors believe that tendency is due to two factors: a desire to conform to a "(social) norm advocating variety for others," and a tendency "to focus on the consumptions per se, without considering other activities those others would engage (in) during the inter-consumption period."

Choi and Yi also show people expect someone else's satisfaction after eating the same snack five days in a row to be lower than our own would be.

The study appears in the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Citation: Study: Variety may not be 'spice of life' (2006, January 31) retrieved 7 February 2023 from
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