Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Taste--Threshold; Salt--Physiological effect; Sugar--Physiological effect


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of sweet and nonsweet isocaloric meals on the taste sensitivity for sugar and salt. It also attempted to relate the changes in taste sensitivity to the degree of hunger and salivary secretion, the measures of hunger and appetite vs. satiety respectively. Twenty normal weight college females participated in the experiment. Their sugar and salt thresholds were measured both before and after the administration of isocaloric sweet and nonsweet meals. Degree of hunger and salivary secretion were also measured both before and after meal eating. A repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the data and the type of errors (misses and false alarms) made during the threshold determination were used as covariates to account for response bias. Taste of meal, meal eating and their interaction had no significant effect on sugar taste thresholds, although the type of errors was significant covariates. Type of errors, in turn, were significantly affected by the taste of meal while meal eating and interaction had no significant effect. In case of the taste of salt, the taste of meal, meal eating, and their interaction had no significant effect on the taste thresholds. Once again the type of errors were significant covariates and their effect persisted under all conditions. However, this time the meal eating had a significant effect on the type of errors rather than the meal taste or their interaction. The results suggest that the observed changes in the taste sensitivity are due to the criterion shift that may have resulted from either the meal taste or meal eating that caused an increase in the incidence of misses (N/S type of error). Hunger ratings and salivary secretion values had a low correlation with the taste threshold values indicating that the taste sensitivity is not necessarily affected by hunger or appetite vs. satiety. Hunger ratings and salivary secretion values also had a low correlation thus suggesting that they do not measure the same variable.


Includes bibliographical references.


74 pages




Northern Illinois University

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