Interference of the end: why recency bias in memory determines when a food is consumed again

Psychol Sci. 2014 Jul;25(7):1466-74. doi: 10.1177/0956797614534268. Epub 2014 Jun 3.


The results of three experiments reveal that memory for end enjoyment, rather than beginning enjoyment, of a pleasant gustatory experience determines how soon people desire to repeat that experience. We found that memory for end moments, when people are most satiated, interferes with memory for initial moments. Consequently, end moments are more influential than initial moments when people decide how long to wait until consuming a food again. The findings elucidate the role of memory in delay until repeated consumption, demonstrate how sensory-specific satiety and portion sizes influence future consumption, and suggest one process by which recency effects influence judgments and decisions based on past experiences.

Keywords: judgment and decision making; memory interference; portion size; recency effects; sensory-specific satiety.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Pleasure*
  • Young Adult