Patricia Pliner

Professor Emeritus

Area of Research

Social Psychology


I am a social psychologist, and my research interests focus on human food selection. I am interested in understanding how people come to like what they like and dislike what they dislike and what causes them to accept some foods and reject others. Factors of biology, individual experience, and culture combine to influence food preferences and aversions. In keeping with my training as a social psychologist, I am most concerned with social factors. Within the general area of food selection, I am most interested in food neophobia, the fear of and or reluctance to try unfamiliar foods. I conduct experiments aimed at understanding this phenomenon and at discovering means of reducing neophobia.