The Open Behavioral Science Journal




(Discontinued)

ISSN: 1874-2300 ― Volume 9, 2015

“Surprises” in Food Confectionary: Cognitive and Emotional Effects on the Child


The Open Behavioral Science Journal, 2012, 6: 8-14

Laura Franchin, Cristina Donati, Beatrice Benelli, Giulia Stefanini, Federica Zobec, Dario Gregori

Labs of Epidemiological Methods and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padova, Via Loredan 18, 35131 Padova, Italy.

Electronic publication date 31/5/2012
[DOI: 10.2174/1874230001206010008]




Abstract:

The aim of this work is to analyze the role of the “surprise” in marketing food (SMF), with particular attention to the cognitive and emotional processes that can be elicited by these toys. Usually, the advertising messages induce people to believe that an emotion of surprise is really related to the SMF. Our main questions are: could an object found in a food-product really elicit an emotion of surprise? What happens in children's emotional and cognitive processes when they open a SMF? To answer to these questions, starting from the appraisal theories and elaborating the model of surprise of Meyer, Reisenzein, & Schutzwohl [1], we have proposed an alternative model on the possible cognitive and emotional processes that are elicited by the SMF. Under this model, it is hypothesized that there are some high arousal positive emotions that come first during the “see phase”, and that are matched with specific expectations of the child. During the “open phase”, these positive emotions can reach the intensity and arousal peak if there is congruence between the child expectations and the SMF. On the contrary, if there is a discrepancy, the valence of these emotions changes. Finally, during the “play phase”, in a “congruence condition” the child probably plays with the toy experiencing positive emotions. In a “discrepancy condition” instead, if the child find something better compared to what she/he thought then positive emotions emerge before and during the play phase, while if the child find something worst, then very probability she/he do not play with the toy and some negative emotions or a neutral state (like indifference) could be present.


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