What’s That on My Plate? Individual Differences in Visual Recognition of Prepared Food
We explored evidence for a domain-general contribution, domain-specific ability, and the influence of experience and personality on the visual recognition of prepared food – a previously unexplored domain. Four questions guide the current study (1) Does the domain-general visual ability “o” contribute to food recognition performance (2) Is there evidence for a domain-specific ability with food recognition (3) How does this domain-specific visual-ability relate to different kinds of experience with food and (4) How is food recognition performance related to personality? To answer these questions, we created two tasks that measure food recognition ability: the Food Recognition Match Task and the Food Recognition Oddball Task. Also, we measured o with two visual tasks: Novel Objects Memory Task and the Novel Objects Matching Task. We found a positive correlation between o and food recognition ability, indicating a domain-general contribution to food recognition. Moreover, performance on the two foods tasks was positively correlated even after controlling for the domain-general ability, suggesting a domain-specific ability in recognizing food. To answer the question of individual experience influencing the recognition of food, we created a novel survey to measure the constructs of general recognition interest, food interest, and preference for food taste/appearance and included a measurement for the Big Five factors of personality. While none of the survey constructs related to food recognition performance, we found that agreeableness positively correlated with performance, suggesting that an aspect of personality relates to food recognition.