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The effect of music on eating behavior


The effects of music tempo on number of bites per minute and total time of meal were studied. Eleven subjects unknowingly participated in the study. Three music conditions were used: fast tempo, slow tempo, and no music. A significant increase in the number of bites per minute was found; the effect was largest for fast-tempo music, which suggests arousal as a possible mediator. No difference was found in total time of meal. A questionnaire revealed no evidence that subjects were aware of the music.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth B. Gardner.

Additional information

The authors are grateful to James D. Fitzpatrick for his cooperation during the course of the study.

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Roballey, T.C., McGreevy, C., Rongo, R.R. et al. The effect of music on eating behavior. Bull. Psychon. Soc. 23, 221–222 (1985).

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  • Background Music
  • Music Condition
  • Eating Speed
  • Fast Tempo
  • Slow Tempo