- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Food rejection and food categorization are the hallmarks of the omnivore’s dilemma, but little is known about the former’s development or its relationship with the latter in children. We recruited 79 children aged 2–6 years and 30 adults to test the hypotheses that (i) children’s food categorization starts to improve at 2 years, (ii) their food rejection is intrinsically linked to development of the food categorization system, and (iii) food categorization relies mainly on color, which conveys information about food typicality. In a categorization task, participants were shown color photographs of fruit and vegetables, and asked to put items belonging to the same category in the same box. Results on accuracy indicated an age-related increase in food categorization performances, and provided the first empirical evidence speaking in favor of i) a relationship between children’s food rejection and food categorization, and ii) the central role of color typicality in food categorization.
4.4. Conclusion and perspectives
In conclusion, our results validated the three experimental hypotheses, by providing evidence in favor of (i) an improvement in children’s food categorization abilities from the age of 2–3 years, (ii) a negative correlation between food rejection and food categorization performances in young children; and (iii) the central role of typicality in explaining the importance of color in food categorization. Nonetheless, our study had several limitations. First, we did not control for color preferences or fruit/vegetable preferences, whereas Carey (2009) and Murphy (2002) pointed out that a priori preferences for one of the categories tested in categorization task should be assessed. Second, color typicality was assessed by an external sample of 10 adults, rather than by the children themselves. In future, it would be worthwhile assessing children’s preferences and opinions about color typicality. When children are as young as 2 years, it is rather difficult to ask them directly if they think that a color is typical for a given vegetable, as we did for adults. It might therefore be helpful to implement a puppet procedure (e.g., Lavin & Hall, 2001), by asking children to describe a tomato to a puppet that does not know what it is, and noting which colors the children use to describe it. Third, the blocks of food pictures contained different numbers of typically and atypically colored food items, as we used real fruit and vegetables for our stimulus sample and were therefore constrained by the availability of fruit and vegetable varieties at the time of the experiment. It would thus be interesting to balance typically and atypically colored food items more evenly in future experiments testing this effect on children’s food categorization.