Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Lindsay Morton




food, cognitive, consumption, appetite, weight, behavior, video


The hot/cool system framework represents a dichotomy within cognitive functioning that moderates the exertion of self-control. While the cool system can be described as a cognitive and emotionally stable construct that serves as the center for self-regulation and control, the hot system forms the basis for emotionality, passion, and impulsivity. Research evidence suggests that attentional priming towards hot or cool cognitions may have a direct and measureable influence on behavior in a variety of social psychological domains. The present study investigated the effect of attentional priming towards hot or cool systems on snack food consumption in 142 college students. Participants were randomly assigned to direct their attention towards the hot, appetitive or the cool, non-appetitive aspects of food presented in a selection of short food-porn videos or to a control condition with no additional instructions. Following viewing, participants were presented with a disguised taste test consisting of three snacks as well as evaluation forms for each food sampled. The total mass consumption of snack foods eaten during the test was measured in order to determine if attentional priming influenced total consumption. The obtained results suggest that attentional priming towards hot or cool cognitions does, in some instances, affect snack food consumption in college students. This finding holds important implications both for food advertising and application to potential weight loss techniques.

Available for download on Friday, June 15, 2018