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If you’re here you’re likely an educator dedicated to enriching lives through teaching!

We are also passionate educators and want to share our research findings with you, so we have created educational free hands-on tools you can use.

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Integrate Food Psychology into Your Class

Not too many colleges offer a permanent course on Food Psychology and Behavior. There are still ways to get the message across in other classes that have overlapping topic areas. Here are some different syllabi that show how you can squeeze these important ideas into existing courses.


Understanding & Critiquing Journal Articles

"Solving the Mystery of Journal Articles" is a worksheet designed for advanced undergraduates, 1st year graduate students, and anyone else who has an interest to help them begin to think critically about the research process and published materials.

To really understand how consumers behave, it's important that students learn how to read and critique academic journal articles. While this eventually occurs, we've been experimenting with ways to speed it up. This worksheet is a quick introduction to deciphering complicated journal articles, and the students seem to like it and learn from it.

The worksheet is based on a fun article about eating movie popcorn (it's the example that opens Chapter 1 of Mindless Eating). The students download the article, download the worksheet, read the article, and fill out the worksheet. This will give them a crash course introduction to experimental design, measurement, and analysis.

Worksheet: Solving the Mystery of Journal Articles  PDF 

Article: Wansink, Brian and SeaBum Park (2001). At the Movies: How External Cues and Perceived Taste Impact Consumption Volume. Food Quality and Preference, 12(1), 69–74


Use Our Lesson Planning Resources

In this section you will find tools for adding food psychology lessons to your existing lesson plan including, worksheets, presentation slides, class modules, fun and funny cartoons, and some key research articles. 

Full Class Session Modules

Summary Articles for Your Class

Summary Articles for Your Class

We're sometimes asked if there are "article versions" of Mindless Eating or Slim by Design that would be appropriate to hand out to a class. Here are some suggestions.

Chandon, P., & Wansink, B. (2012). Does food marketing need to make us fat? A review and solutions. Nutrition Reviews, 70(10), 571-593.

This review paper identifies changes that food companies can implement to not only help consumers eat less, but also to stay profitable. The paper accomplishes this by focusing on four key areas of marketing all of which have powerful effects on consumers and are easily manipulated by marketers: price, marketing communication, taste, and environmental cues.

Wansink, B., & Junyong, Kim. (2005). Bad Popcorn in Big Buckets: Portion Size Can Influence Intake as Much as TasteJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 37(5), 242–5.

This classic study by the food and Brand Lab showed that simple environmental cues - such as package size – is so powerful that it can increase our intake of foods that are less palatable.  In a study of moviegoers in a Philadelphia suburb, those who were given a large-sized bucket of stale, 2-week old popcorn ate more than those who were given a medium-sized bucket, despite the fact that they disliked the popcorn. These results are a powerful demonstration that large packages and containers can lead to overeating. However, these data have positive implications for nutrition educators, since using larger bowls may increase consumption of healthy, but less favorable foods, such as vegetables.

Wansink, B., Painter, J.E., & North, J. (2006). Bottomless bowls: Why visual cues of portion size may influence intake. Obesity Research, 13(1), 93-100.

In another classic Food and Brand Lab study, this work shows how visual cues in the environment affect how much people consume. Half of the participants were served soup in a normal bowl and half were served soup in a self–refilling bowl. Participants who were unknowingly eating from self–refilling bowls ate 73% more soup that those eating from normal bowls, although they did not notice the bowl refilling. This work emphasizes the importance that salient, accurate visual cues can play in the prevention of unintentional overeating.

Hanks, A. S., Just, D. R., & Wansink, B. (2013). Smarter Lunchrooms can Address New School Lunchroom Guidelines and Childhood Obesity. Journal of Pediatrics,162, 867-869.

This highlights the importance of the one of the Food and Brand Lab’s signature projects: The Smarter Lunchroom Movement. This paper details how the Smarter Lunchroom Makeover is successful in increasing fruit and vegetable intake by students despite a wide range of alternative options. With the new USDA regulations the Smarter Lunchroom Makeover can be a useful tool to reduce food waste and increase more nutritious choices.

Wansink, Brian (2015). Change Their Choice! Changing Behavior Using the CAN Approach and Activism Research. Psychology & Marketing, 32(5), 486-500. 

This paper explored the reasons why healthy eaters eat healthy. The results suggest that healthy eating can be promoted through the CAN approach in which people are more likely to make healthy choices if it is Convenient, Attractive, and Normal. For example, most healthy eaters eat healthy foods because places that they eat - restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias, or spouses - made foods like fruits and vegetables visible and easy to reach (convenient), enticingly displayed (attractive), and appear like an obvious choice (normal). 


Download Our Mindless Eating Tip Sheet

We’ve distilled down some key Mindless Eating tips into a one page sheet. To view and download a PDF of the Mindless Eating Tip Sheet click here.

Use Our Teaching Cartoons & Photos

These free-to-use cartoons and photos depict the lesson themes and research findings that come out of our Lab. They can be used to accompany lessons, to help you build your own lessons, or to simply print and display. When you use them, please don’t forget to give us credit by citing Dr. Brian Wansink and the Cornell Food and Brand Lab as your source.


Check Out Our Key Discoveries

If you are interested in exploring some of our key findings, browse our key discoveries!