Chocolate and emotion

Nowadays we do care about ourselves, not only about our bodies, but also about our emotion. Emotion plays a significant role in our lives, and it was defined by Watson and Clark as distinct, integrated psycho-physiological response system. (Watson and Clark.1994, P. 89) And in 1809 William James proposed that these changes occur as a response to some stimulating event,and our experience of these changes is what we called emotion. ( Banyard and Grayson. 1996. P103) This theory is referred to as the James-Lange theory, and this theory suggest that the recognition of emotion comes after the bodily response.

The most direct way to show our emotion is the facial expression, including happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, fear and disgust. Another approach to assessing emotions is self- report questionnaires, and it means we put some adjectives to describe emotions. But the problem of this approach is the scales used to measure various emotions are often associated with each other. It is easy to find that our emotions could be changed by the things that around us, but it also could be changed by our diet. It has already been proved by psychologists that food can help people modulate emotions. We often see from the love films that when a person loses his or her lover, some of them would eat much than before. It does happen in our real lives. So it is a typical example that food has a great influence on our emotions.

There is no denying that chocolate is a kind of food, and a lot of people like it. Further more, some reports shows that chocolate is also a kind of medicine, because it is involved in caffeine which is a tranquilizer, and it can help people to keep calm. In some ways, chocolate does play a modulatory role in people’s everyday lives. Michael Macht and Dorothee Dettmer(psychology Department, University of W�rzburg, Marcusstr) wrote the following words in the article Everyday mood and emotions after eating a chocolate bar (Michael Macht and Dorothee Dettmer. 2006.)

‘Emotional changes after eating chocolate were examined in everyday life. Thirty-seven healthy, normal-weight women ate a chocolate bar rated their subjective state 5, 30, 60 and 90 min after eating. Both chocolate and the apple reduced hunger, elevated mood and increased activation, but the effects of the chocolate were stronger. Eating chocolate was also followed by joy and, in some people, by guilt. Guilt responders experienced less intense positive emotions.’

To discover the relationship between chocolate and emotions, I do questionnaires and selected10 participants to complete them. In this report I will put my hypothesis, explain the method, introduce my procedures and analyze the data. The hypothesis 1. Chocolate could have an effect on emotion. 2. Eating chocolate could reduce stress. After eating it, people would feel relax and happy. The Sample I put 30(15 females and 15 males)names on pieces of paper and select 10 of them in a random way. Most of them are Chinese. They are different ages.

The Method

I use survey studies in my research. Survey studies is a kind of method to investigate, and they generally make use of questions or interviews that are given to all the groups of interest. These questionnaires or interviews often measure attitude. In my research, these questions are used to measure people’s attitudes to chocolate and can chocolate have an effect on their emotions. And they are designed to be complete rapidly and easily.

The Procedure 1. Questionnaire (6 questions) was made to investigate. 2. The participants were told that the aim of the questionnaires was to look at the relationship between chocolate and emotions. 3. Ask them if they can accept this questionnaire, and tell them they can withdraw from this questionnaire at any time. 4. If they agreed, they were asked 6 questions. 5. Every question has 3 options, and I put them in numbers 1, 2 and 3. The third question has two parts which are used for 2 kinds of people. First one is used for people who like chocolate and the other one is for people who do not like chocolate. So for this question, the options are put in 1, 2, 3 or 1′, 2′, and 3′.

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