Psychology 101: Trick or Treat (But Mainly Just Treat)

I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween but I know a lot of people who think I’m crazy for not caring about this apparently amazing celebration. So for those of you who aren’t me you’ll be excited to know this post is ~ loosely ~ based on Halloween. And yeah, I know Halloween has already passed but it’s around the time, alright.  

But, how are you going to write a psychology article about Halloween? What exactly is it going to be about? Well, I’m going to be talking about the psychology behind having a sweet tooth 😉 (that relates to Halloween right??)

How does this relate to psychology?

Most of us have probably had specific food cravings at least once in our life – whether you’re a sweet tooth or whether you’re a….savoury tooth? (it’s a thing now, just roll with it) – you’ve probably craved something specific and you have no idea why. Well I’m here to tell you!

When craving a specific food – like chocolate – it’s more of a psychological hunger than a physiological one. That means most of the time when you crave food it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hungry or haven’t eaten enough that day. Lots of the time food cravings connect with emotions. For example, we might have a “happy” memory associated with a particular food, so our brain will think in order to feel happy we have to eat this specific food. Psychologists have even found that these cravings are actually directly connected to the memory centres in our brains. Makes a lot of sense now right?

So…that’s it?

Not entirely. Yes, sometimes food cravings can be connected to happy memories but other times it’s just an indication that you’re lacking a specific food or nutrient. If you haven’t had enough salt in the day your brain might tell you, “I could really go for some chips right now.”

Food cravings also might just have to do with the type of food you’re eating or craving. We tend to crave chocolate, popcorn and chips way more than we’d crave celery or broccoli (at least for me anyway). This is because lots of junk food have additives or lots of sugary substances that make our brain energetic and happy! Vegetables just….don’t do that.

I’m not entirely sure what you all can do with this new information. Maybe you can start manufacturing happy memories based around veggies and it might convince you to eat healthier? I don’t know, sounds like a stretch but give it go! 😀




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