Ice-cream!! Listening to this word our mouth starts watering. Ice cream is the favorite thing for all ages from youngest to the oldest. Eating ice cream feels fun in all seasons but in summer it just makes you feel happier. We all know eating ice cream soothes us during the hot weather. Some of us eat ice cream just because we want to eat it. Some of us eat it when we are sad and to soothe our sad emotions. But does ice cream really make us happier? Does it matter if we eat a particular flavor? Or does the environment where we are eating make it pleasurable?
We all know there are certain pros and cons to everything. So does ice cream have many people refrain from eating it so that they would gain weight? Ice cream does not only have physical effects but also does have effects on our psychology and mental health. Ice cream lovers can benefit from enhanced happiness, soothed emotions, reduced stress, greater motivation to complete a task, and a profound sense of satisfaction, among other things.
The psychology behind happiness due to ice cream:
Research done by the Institute of Psychiatry in London focused on determining if ice cream makes people happier. The orbitofrontal cortex begins to respond after just a taste of ice cream, indicating that this portion of the brain is responsible for the joyful experience, according to researchers. According to research, nutrients like protein and fat in it aid our bodies raise our mood levels. The body absorbs amino acids, which increase serotonin levels and synthesis. Which is why we feel calm, happy and the feeling of satisfaction (Gr_Admin, 2021).
Ice cream is a mood food:
We all use strategies to improve our well-being, some people do it with the help of mood foods. Mood foods are particularly the type of foods you like to eat while feeling a specific emotion. People see it as a popular mood food. A researcher conducted research on the effects of ice cream in comparison with chocolate and yogurt. Ice cream enhanced the appetitive motivational state in males, as depicted by the results (Linley et al., 2013).
Another study suggested that the consumption of ice cream activates a specific part of the brain which is the oral somatosensory area. This part reflects the perception of taste, texture, and temperature when tested with the tasteless solution. Linley et al. (2013) observed that ice cream initiated activation in reward and motivation-related areas of the brain, and they found a positive association between the power of this activation and habitual ice cream consumption.
Researchers conducted one more study regarding the consumption of ice cream and its effects on gratefulness activity. The group that received ice cream after the gratefulness tasks showed greater gratefulness compared to the group that did not receive anything after the task. This indicates a positive effect, and which does not cause any kind of addiction to the individual (Linley et al., 2013).
Does eating ice cream in a different environment affect flavor, emotion, and electrophysiological measurements?
The researchers conducted a study that looked into differences in perceived taste or flavour based on where you were eating. The places included a laboratory, a café, city bus stop or even library of your university. They were also interested in learning how environmental changes altered emotions and electrophysiological markers. They did this especially with the chocolate ice cream. The study was carried out with the assistance of 160 volunteers (Xu et al., 2019).
The perception of chocolate-flavored ice cream with respect to different environments was measured with the help of the TDS (Temporal Dominance of Sensations) method. The emotional responses of the participants were calculated with a CATA (check-all-that-apply) list of emotions after the consumption of ice cream. The standard electrophysiological measure, which incorporates heart rate, blood volume pulse, and skin conductance, was developed by (Xu et al., 2019).
The atmosphere in which a person consumes a food item might have an impact on their emotional state. These surroundings are effective because of the lighting, spatial layout, music, and even temperature. Colour, odour, sound, temperature, and texture, according to some studies (Xu et al., 2019), can elicit emotional reactions.
The results of the study showed depicted that consumption of ice cream in different environments gives a perception of change in flavor. For example, when individuals eat ice cream in a laboratory, they first detect sweetness but eventually perceive a bittersweet flavour as they go (Xu et al., 2019).
Scoop of Joy
Ice cream has both physiological and psychological effects, such as elevating serotonin levels and improving mood.Ice cream is also thought to increase men’s motivation and appetite. Ice cream consumption stimulates the oral somatosensory area, induces reward and motivation, and heightens gratitude. Consuming ice cream in diverse locations alters the perception of flavour variety, which can be influenced by temperature, lighting, and music.