The Consequences of Implicit and Explicit Beliefs on Food Preferences

J.Q. Wang*, H. Otgaar, A. Bisback, T. Smeets, M.L. Howe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Memories can have consequences on people's eating behavior. In the current experiment, we examined the effect of belief versus recollection on food preferences and then investigated whether explicit belief (i.e., self-reported) or implicit belief (i.e., measured by an autobiographical implicit association test; aIAT) had a similar effect on food preferences. Participants (N = 163) were falsely told that they got sick after eating egg salad in their childhood and then received guided imagery to induce false beliefs/recollections concerning the food-aversive event. Half of the participants with false memories were debriefed and told that the event was false to reduce their belief in the event. Belief, not recollection regarding the food-aversive event, impacted participants' food preferences. Furthermore, we found that explicit, but not implicit, belief predicted participants' food preferences. The current results suggest that explicit judgments of belief in a memory may explain the consequences resulting from memories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-385
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • autobiographical belief
  • recollection
  • implicit belief
  • food preference


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