Glucose (sometimes) does more than what is says on the tin. The influence of information on beliefs about the action of glucose

LM Christian, BT Stollery, PJ Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

This study examined how participants expect to feel after consuming a “sweetened” drink. Separate groups of participants received information about a “glucose” drink that emphasised either its cognitive (n = 78) or physically (n = 82) enhancing properties, and a “calorie-free” sweetex drink (n = 80) was used as a reference condition. After imagining consuming the drink, participants indicated how they would expect to feel (using a 9-point Likert scale) measured by a questionnaire (40-items) probing areas of: cognitive processing (e.g., episodic and working memory), physical effects (e.g., exercise, reaction time), and mood (e.g., tense, stressed). Across all 240 participants, factor analysis of the questionnaire, using principle axis factoring followed by varimax rotation, revealed a four factor solution. The four factors, in order of extraction, were labelled: mental alertness (e.g., I will be more able to accurately recall a word list containing 25-items), mental lethargy (e.g., I will process arithmetic questions less quickly), physical energy (e.g., I will be able to run further than usual), and positive mood (e.g., I will feel less tense). A two-factor mixed ANOVA, with drink information (cognitive, physical, sweetex) and factor sub-scales (mental alertness, mental lethargy, physical energy, positive mood) revealed a significant drink information × factor sub-scale interaction (F(6, 711) = 9.42, p <.001). Post-hoc analysis, using the Tukey HSD test, showed that drink information had no influence on ratings of mental lethargy and positive mood. For mental alertness, only those receiving the “cognitive enhancing” information expected improved mental alertness; the “sweetex” and “physically enhancing” groups did not differ. In contrast, those who received the “physically enhancing” and the “cognitive enhancing” information expected improvements in physical energy. Thus, indicating that glucose's “cognitive” benefits lead to expectations of improved mental alertness and physical energy, but emphasising the fact that “physical” benefits do not spill over to “mental alertness”.
Translated title of the contributionGlucose (sometimes) does more than what is says on the tin. The influence of information on beliefs about the action of glucose
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174 - 174
Number of pages1
JournalAppetite
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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