Você está na página 1de 11

Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus

Brgy. Bitoon, Jaro, Iloilo City

How does colour conditioning


affect taste perception?

By:
18-Sofia Caram
6-Andre Haro
23-Christine Losañes
I. Introduction

Nowadays, most of the people around the globe enjoy eating. They find joy and freedom when they feed on
something. But the question is, how would the colour of food affect someone’s taste perception? We were tasked to
experiment on this specific topic and find out how important the colour of a certain food is. Before beginning any
experiment, all terms must be defined and understood well, especially by the ones going to conduct the experiment
in order to avoid even the slightest of mistakes. Based on the topic given to us, we had to study well the definitions
of the words “food”, “colour” and “perception”. A few of the characteristics of scientists is being open-minded,
patient and precise. At this point, we are considered as the scientists. We had to be patient in looking up the
definitions of these words even if they are already so common.

We had to be precise by looking up the definitions of the words one by one and after a long period of research, we
got our answer. We knew and completely understood that FOOD is a:

1. Material, usually of plant or animal origin that contains or consists of essential body nutrients, such as
carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to
produce energy, stimulate growth, and maintain life.
2. A specified kind of nourishment: breakfast food; plant food.
3. Nourishment eaten in solid form: food and drink.
4. Something that nourishes or sustains in a way suggestive of physical nourishment: food for thought; food
for the soul.
The first word is down and there are still two more words to go. Our second word was colour. After researching this
word, several meanings popped up and they all seemed to be important. The word COLOR means:

-That aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in
terms of the observer or of the light, as:
a. The appearance of objects or light sources described in terms of the individual's perception of them,
involving hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources.
b. The characteristics of light by which the individual is made aware of objects or light sources through the
receptors of the eye, described in terms of dominant wavelength, luminance, and purity.
-A substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint that imparts a hue.

And the final word was up, the most important word in this experiment, PERCEPTION. A result of our research,
this was the best definition of perception that we could find:
In philosophy, psychology, and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of attaining awareness or
understanding of sensory information. The word "perception" comes from the Latin words perceptio, percipio,
which means "receiving, collecting, and the action of taking possession, apprehension with the mind or senses."
Perception is one of the oldest fields in psychology. The oldest quantitative law in psychology is the Weber-Fechner
law, which quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and their perceptual effects.
The study of perception gave rise to the Gestalt school of psychology, with its emphasis on holistic approach.
What one perceives is a result of interplays between past experiences, including one’s culture, and the interpretation
of the perceived. If the percept does not have support in any of these perceptual bases it is unlikely to rise above
perceptual threshold.

According to this definition, when we speak of perception, the mind is usually included. This means that the colour
of food may affect someone’s taste perception because of what that person thinks about it, which means, it is all in
the mind.

Because of this, we are also forced to learn about the mental abilities of a person. The mind does control the rest of a
person's body which means that it also affects taste perception. There are standard flavours for different colours but
it can be changed.
For example, in the grocery, what would a person prefer to buy? Green pechay or brown pechay? These are the
questions we want to answer and we will do our best to do so, for the sake of science.

II. Purpose

Before people do something new to them, they are usually asked what the purpose of this thing is. Our experiment’s
purpose is simple but also very useful. Most especially for those people who cook and want people to enjoy what
they make. After this experiment, we are hoping to find out what colour most people prefer their food to be and also
why they do not prefer or enjoy the other colours.
We are also hoping to find out how their mind affects the food they want. Our experiment will let people know what
colour is best for their food so that more people would enjoy a certain meal.
We did not do this experiment just for the sake of our grades but also for fun, learning and science. This experiment
is not complicated but it requires a lot of effort. As a summary of everything and to cut things short, we are doing
this experiment to learn and find out for ourselves the answers to our questions and share it to the world.
We want to unleash the knowledge that is snuggling within our minds and it can no longer occupy any space. We
want to show the world that age won’t hold us back and hinder us from becoming true scientist, explorers and
discoverers.
Our time is running out and we no longer have any shells to hide ourselves in and therefore, we have no other choice
but to prove to the people that we children truly are the hope of the fatherland and that there is a bright future
awaiting the next generation and we wont let a successful future pass without us getting involved and being a art of
it all.
Our time to speak up is now because we are going to prove to the world that a single experiment like ours and even
the tiniest of discoveries can flip the whole world upside down.

III. Hypothesis

We hypothesized that if teenagers were presented with food that has color that corresponds to its flavor, then they
could easily identify the taste of the food rather than food with no color or has color but does not correspond ti the
flavor.
We based our hypothesis in an experiment conducted by Emma B. which researched about the topic of color
conditioning and taste perception.

IV. Experiment Design:

The constants of this study were:

• The amount of yogurt given to each teenager


• The brand or kind of yogurt each teenager got to taste
• The age group of the people who tasted the yogurt

The manipulated variable was the different color in each flavor of yogurt.

The responding variable was the amount of time it took for each teenager to identify the flavor of the yogurt and
the correctness of their guesses.

To measure the responding variable, we timed each teenager with a stopwatch to see how long it takes for each
teenager to identify the flavor and we took note of the teenager’s guesses.

V. Materials:

1. 16 cups of 125g Nestle Yogurt (plain/white-colored), flavored :


strawberry, mango, orange, grape(4 cups per flavor)
2. 1 pack of McCormick Food Coloring (4 colors: yellow, blue, red, green) 15 ml each bottle

3. 18 teaspoons

4. 28 clear plastic cups

5. Stopwatch

6. 10 teenagers ( all in healthy conditions)


7. 3 liters of drinking water

VI. Procedure:

A. Set up the Experiment


1. Place all materials on one location, like table.
2. Get 8 plastic cups and place them on the table separately.
3. Pour 2 cups of the 125g Nestle yogurt in each plastic cup and make sure the same flavor goes in each cup.

4. Label them according to their flavors.

5. Pour 4 drops of red food coloring to the first cup with the strawberry flavored yogurt.
6. Mix.
7. Pour 2 drops of red and 2 drops of blue food coloring to the first cup with the grape flavored yogurt.
8. Mix.
9. Pour 4 drops of yellow food coloring to the first cup with the mango flavored yogurt.
10. Mix.
11. Pour 2 drops of red and 2 drops of yellow food coloring to the first cup with the orange flavored yogurt.
12. Mix.
13. Check if you have one cup of red, strawberry flavored yogurt, and one cup of white, strawberry flavored
yogurt. Check if you have one cup of purple, grape flavored yogurt, and one cup of white, grape flavored yogurt.
Check if you have one cup of yellow, mango flavored yogurt, and one cup of white, mango flavored yogurt. Check
if you have one cup of orange (color), orange flavored yogurt, and one cup of white, orange flavored yogurt.
14. Update your labels with the change.
15. Make sure the labels are not facing the teenagers when you start to serve them.
B. Conduct the Experiment
1. Give each teenager an empty plastic cup, a plastic cup filled with water, and a teaspoon.

2. Explain to them that they would have to identify the flavor of yogurt that they would have to taste.
3. Let one teenager taste each of the cups of yogurt. Make sure he/she rinses before tasting another cup of
yogurt and that he/she receives the same amount of yogurt the other teenagers will be receiving.
4. Repeat no. 3 above for all the other teenagers.
C. Recording Data

1. Time his/her time in guessing the flavor of the yogurt. Record the data and identify if his/her guess was
correct.

VII. Results

The purpose of the experiment was to test whether color conditioning does affect taste perception. Our hypothesis
was that if teenagers were presented with food that has color that corresponds to the flavor, then the teenagers will
easily recognize the taste more accurately compared to food with no color or has color but does not correspond to
the flavor of the food. The results showed that the hypothesis should be accepted due to the fact that teenagers did
recognize the food easily and more accurately compared to food with no color. The results are shown on the
bottom.

Time It Took Teenagers to Recognize the Flavor of Yogurt

10
9
8
7
6
5 Time In Seconds
4
3
2
1
0
e/n or
r

r
r

r
or

r
lo

lo
lo
lo
lo

lo

l
ol

/co
/co

co
co

co
co

co
c

/
/

o
no
rry

ge
o
go

ap
/n

/n

g/
an
e

an
rry

Gr
go
wb

ap
an
Or
M
e

an

Gr
Or
ra

wb

M
St

ra
St

The results showed that teenagers could easily identify the flavor of yogurt with color that corresponds to the taste
rather than yogurt that has no color. The other results are shown representing how many teenagers accurately
recognized the flavors.
Number of Teenagers who accurately recognized the Flavor

Number of Teenagers
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

r
r

r
r

or
r
r

or

lo
lo

lo
lo
lo

lo

ol

/co
l
/co

co
co
co

/co

co

oc
/

o
rry

ge
go

ap

/n
n
/n

/n

g/
an
e

an

e
Gr
rry

go
wb

ap
an
Or
M
e

an

Gr
Or
ra

wb

M
St

ra
St

The results above showed that teenagers are able to accurately recognize the flavor of the yogurt compared to
yogurt without color.

VIII. Conclusion/Discussion

As shown on the data we have collected, the results showed that the hypothesis should be accepted because of the
fact that teenagers were able to distinguish the different flavors of yogurt with color that corresponds to the flavor
with more accuracy and speed then those which has no color. This data shows that color conditioning does affect
taste perception. There are ways in which the mind works and behaves in certain conditions. These conditions are
identified below.
There are two types of conditioning that can affect one’s behavior. Operant conditioning is defined with a type of
training in which certain behaviors are reinforced or rewarded. It deals with the modification of Voluntary
behavior or operant behavior. Classical conditioning on the other hand deals with the conditioning of respondent
behaviors which are elicited by antecedent behavior. Behaviors conditioned via classical conditioning procedure
are not maintained by consequences. These conditions can affect our behavior and our decisions as well. Two
persons have experimented with the types of conditioning. They are Burrhus Frederic (B.F.) Skinner and Ivan
Petrovich Pavlov. A short article about each of them is shown below.

Burrhus Frederic (B.F.) Skinner


Burrhus Frederic (1904-1990) studied and majored in literature at the Hamilton College in New York. He went
and lived in New York City in the late 1920's to become a writer. He was not very successful. "I had nothing
important to say," he later explained. So he decided to go back to school, and went to Harvard to study
psychology, since he had always enjoyed observing animal and human behavior. The psychology department was
immersed in introspective psychology, and Skinner found himself more and more a behaviorist. He worked in a
lab of an experimental biologist, and developed behavioral studies of rats. He loved to experiment with building,
and loved building contraptions as a kid. He put that skill to use by designing boxes to automatically reward
behavior, such as a depressing lever, pushing a button, and much more. His devices were such an improvement on
the existing equipment; they've come to be known as the Skinner boxes. He conducted many experiments using
conditioning.

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born in Ryazan, Russia. He was educated in Russia and Germany. He became a
Russian physiologist. He won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for his research on digestion. He showed
how the vagus nerve controls the flow of digestive juices of the stomach and pancreas. For the next thirty years,
Pavlov studied brain functions. He found that, by repeated association, an artificial stimulus could be substituted
for a natural stimulus to cause physiological reaction. This, as he called it, is a conditioned reflex. Pavlov believed
that all acquired habits, and even higher mental activity, depend on the chains of conditioned reflexes.

Colors also have effects in decision making. They can affect us psychologically that each color has been given
some meanings depending on which area or location the meaning was created. Color can affect the way we eat
such an example is blue which is said to represent the urge to eat while orange contradicts its meaning. Color does
in fact affect taste and is proven in a series of tests and experiments done.

Taste is a form of direct chemoreception and is one of the traditional 5 senses. This factor is an important factor in
our experiment conducted. It can somehow be recognized through the color of the food which can be very biased
and judgmental and can lead to error.

There are also two types of errors that can occur in the experiment. Type I error occurs when it is concluded that
the primary hypothesis is true while it is actually false. It occurs often then type II errors which occur when it is
concluded that the primary hypothesis is false while it is actually true. We tried to avoid errors as much as possible
in order to make the experiment accurate but there is no such thing as 100% accurate in science. Errors also occur
in the experiment. Some examples of error is that the color of food is sometimes mistaken for other flavors such
that yellow coloring can correspond to banana rather than mango and red can represent apples instead of
strawberries. Another source of error is bias and wrong judgment of the result which can happen often. Errors can
affect the results of the experiment and thus we can’t say that our experiment is 100% accurate.

In this discussion, the main goal was to explain how color conditioning can affect taste perception and what the
different factors that can affect taste perception are. Also, the discussion was to explain the behavior of the human
mind based on the types of conditioning. Lastly, this discussion was to identify the types of error and the sources
of error as well that can change the outcome of the experiment

Appendix:
The preparation for the experiment
One of the teenagers for the experiment

IX. Bibliography
theblufish.com/.../decorating/freelance/colorskitchen.html
Wikipedia.com
faculty.washington.edu/chudler/coltaste.html
www.colormatters.com/science_faq3.html
changingminds.org/explanations/.../conclusions/type_1_2.htm
Yahoo.com
Google.com