Original paper

Beautiful fruits taste good: the aesthetic influences of fruit preferences in humans

Prokop, Pavol; Fančovičová, Jana

Anthropologischer Anzeiger Volume 69 No. 1 (2012), p. 71 - 83

published: Mar 1, 2012

DOI: 10.1127/0003-5548/2011/0120

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ArtNo. ESP140006901004, Price: 29.00 €

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Abstract

Although diversity of fruit/seed colouration has received a great amount of attention since Darwin, little is known about its role in eating preferences in humans. We have determined that humans prefer certain fruits/seeds over others and that their willingness to eat them has been significantly influenced by the perceived aesthetic of the presented fruits and seeds. Participants were unable to discriminate between edible and poisonous fruits/seeds based on their colour. Females rated all the groups of fruits/seeds as more attractive than males with this supporting the role of females in picking fruit in our evolutionary past. Red fruits were rated as more attractive than green or brown fruits. The results support the idea that fruit/seed colouration plays an important role in plant - disperser coevolution and that aesthetic judgment in humans have been shaped by natural selection.

Keywords

evolutioncolourdietfruithumanpreference