Food choice on impulse lab

Main research question

Many people intent to change their dietary choices, but find it very hard to accomplish this goal. One reason for this problem may be that choices for food often occur impulsively, without deliberation, and are strongly influenced by the value of food, and it is hard to change such impulsive value-based decisions. Therefore, we examine whether it is possible to change impulsive choices for food items, and examine whether this approach can lead to sustainable changes in dietary choices.

General approach



People make many decisions related to eating everyday, and most of these decisions are not made after careful deliberation. Repeated on a daily basis, such impulsive food choices can have huge cumulative effect on health in the long run. The research in our lab is thus aimed at understanding such impulsive processes in people’s food choices and eating behaviors, and using such knowledge to develop behavioral change interventions that can change their eating behaviors. For instance, we are currently developing behavioral interventions that can potentially create new impulses toward healthy food, and inhibit existing impulses toward unhealthy food. In addition to controlled laboratory studies that test the effectiveness of such interventions and explore the underlying mechanisms, we also conduct research in more applied settings to explore the applied value of such an approach.

Members 2016-2017


Starting from the top from left to right
Harm Veling, Rob Holland, Michael Zoltak, Johannes Algermissen, Lena Schäfer, Zhang Chen, Julian Quandt, Niels Kukken, Xin Gao

Members 2015-2016

labgroup 2015-2016

From left to right
Michael Zoltak, Wim Tjepkema, Aart van Stekelenburg, Katrien Oomen, Rob Holland, Harm Veling, Niels Kukken, Zhang Chen


Training procedure image adapted from Zhang Chen
Lab logo created by Wim Tjepkema