New work on decision-making from PI Scott Huettel

You dash into a convenience store for a quick snack, spot an apple and reach for a candy bar instead. Poor self-control may not be the only factor behind your choice, new research suggests. That’s because our brains process taste information first, before factoring in health information, according to new research from Duke University.

“We spend billions of dollars every year on diet products, yet most people fail when they attempt to diet,” said study co-author Scott Huettel, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. “Taste seems to have an advantage that sets us up for failure.”

“For many individuals, health information enters the decision process too late (relative to taste information) to drive choices toward the healthier option.”

The new paper, which appears July 5 in Nature Human Behaviour, describes the advantage taste has over healthfulness in the decision-making process.

Full story in Duke Today