Role of specific postingestional effects and medicinal context in the acquisition of liking for tastes.
Pliner P., Rozin P., Cooper M., Woody G.
The role of positive postingestional effects in the acquisition of liking for tastes was explored. The purpose of the first study was to ask whether changes in liking are associated with the repeated ingestion in a medicinal context of a drug which produces positive consequences and which has a distinctive flavor. The results revealed no evidence for an acquired liking overall, and a more fine-grained analysis found no evidence that any type of positive effect which occurred was associated with an increase in liking. In a second study, using a retrospective questionnaire, an examination was made of the changes in liking for a wider range of medicines with tastes as well as for a number of foods. Again, none of the specific positive medicinal effects (types of symptom relief) examined were especially effective in enhancing liking. However, comparison of data for foods and medicines revealed that the latter are less likely to come to be liked than are the former. One possible explanation for these results is that when substances are ingested with the primary motivation of obtaining positive postingestional consequences, as in the case of medicines, this extrinsic motivation interferes with the acquisition of liking.