For a 2007 study published in Environment and Behavior, Cornell researcher Brian Wansink and his team asked participants to estimate how many decisions about food and drinks they made in a given day. Then the researchers asked 18 more questions about what, when, where, how much, and with whom the participants ate and drank. While most people estimated they made around 15 decisions a day, the study found that they actually made 219 decisions on average—around 200 more than they thought. These results point to how mindlessly we eat, and how easily our diets can be influenced by our environment.
How many decisions did you make about your last meal? If you're like most people, you probably think just one: what to eat. But if you delve into that experience, many more decisions appear. How much did you serve yourself? What dish did you use? Where did you sit down to eat? When did you stop eating? Why? According to research, you make about 200 of those decisions every single day.
Your Unconscious Decisionmaking
How This Affects You
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Brian Wansink's Food Decision Study
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