Can eating hot and spicy food lead to heated debates? (new study)

“Imagine that you have an upcoming meeting with a confrontational colleague. You need to be at your aggressive best in order to not be run over during the meeting. What type of food do you think would help you best prepare for this meeting?

a. Hot & spicy food

b. Neither hot & spicy, nor bland & mild food

c. Bland & mild food”

This is a question* posed by Professor Rishtee K. Batra, and Professor Tanuka Ghoshal of the Department of Marketing, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India, along with Professor Rajagopal Raghunathan of the Department of Marketing, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, US, in a new paper for the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 71, July 2017, Pages 42–48. It’s entitled: ‘You are what you eat: An empirical investigation of the relationship between spicy food and aggressive cognition’

A series of three experimental studies revealed (amongst other things) that :

“ – the link between spicy food and aggressive cognition appears quite robust.“

The findings, say the team, suggest some interesting questions that could be explored in future research :

“ – such as, whether the incidents of altercations or heated debates is greater in countries or households that consume spicier (vs. less spicy) food. In a related vein, it would be interesting to explore whether customers more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors (e.g., lodge complaints, spread negative word of mouth, or offer lower tips) in contexts (e.g., restaurants), that serve more (vs. less) spicy food. Interesting implications emerge for regulating children’s behaviors too. Parents could presumably find it easier to discipline children by lowering the spiciness of their food. Likewise, teachers may find it easier to regulate students’ behaviors by controlling the levels of spice served in the cafeterias.”

A full copy of the paper may be found here.

ɐ) : ɹǝʍsu∀*