Psychology students explore the relationship between gender and emotional eating

So does or doesn’t chocolate make everything all better? The stereotype that women consume copious amounts of chocolate when upset was the focus of the psychology capstone project for seniors Tene Robinson of Romeoville, Illinois, and Casey O’Malley ’19 of Kenosha, Wisconsin. With help from Associate Professor of Psychology Kristine Kovack-Lesh, the duo fleshed out the project.

Participants first took a pre-test and filled out forms. They then were shown a sad film clip, the end of comedy-drama Marley & Me, during which the viewers had access to a pile of 30 M&Ms. After the film clip, the team measured their level of emotion as well as how many candies had been eaten.

The results were intriguing, the researchers said. They found no significant correlation between the number of M&Ms that were consumed and the viewer’s level of sadness; they did, however, find that after viewing the sad clip, participants, regardless of gender, felt much more emotional than they had at the beginning of the experiment.

The biggest challenge for Robinson and O’Malley was determining what exactly they wanted to research and how to go about doing it, Robinson said. “There is a lot of information and experiments out there that involve eating, so it was difficult finding studies that truly had relevance to ours.

“Being able to see the participants’ reaction when they realized what they were being shown was very interesting,” she said. “We were able to see a wide range of emotions and see how other people handled being in that situation.”

Robinson and O’Malley are psychology majors, and both plan on pursuing careers in psychology upon graduation.

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin

(Photo: Casey O’Malley, left, and Tene Robinson)

Related Posts

Saxophonist Tom Washatka

Guest saxophonist Tom Washatka to join Ripon College jazz ensembles in April 26 concert

The Ripon College Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble will perform Friday, April 26. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Demmer Recital Hall, C.J. […]

CPP logo

Student panel on free speech rescheduled to April 18

A student panel addressing free speech has been rescheduled to April 18. The Center for Politics and the People presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. […]

Isaac Tomaschefsky '24 playing the guitar on stage

Isaac Tomaschefsky ’24 to present violin, guitar recital April 20

Isaac Tomaschefsky ’24 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, will present his senior violin and guitar recital Saturday, April 20, at Ripon College. The program will begin […]

C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts

Fine arts offerings to be presented all month at Ripon College

A jam-packed month of fine arts offerings is scheduled at Ripon College. All events are free and open to the public in C.J. Rodman Center […]


Related Areas of Study