That question has been posed to a family member for years. Who doesn’t like that rich, chocolaty, peanut butter classic? The family member that has a conditioned taste aversion is who. This is not a life threatening issue, but a rather common occurrence with many individuals that associate a very uncomfortable event to the eating or drinking of a specific food or beverage. After this family member ate this once enjoyable treat, several hours later he became very sick to his stomach. The consequence of that event resulted in this family member feeling nauseous any time he saw, smelled, or even thought about that candy.
A conditioned taste aversion is based off of the psychological principle of classical conditioning. In scientific terms, this occurs when a previously arbitrary stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus, resulting in a new unconditioned response to that original stimulus. Simply put, this phenomenon takes place after a specific food or beverage is consumed, followed by an uncomfortable physical condition, after a random time frame has elapsed.
In this case, the isolated stimulus was the consumed Reese’s candy; the unconditioned stimulus was the physical illness that occurred many hours later, which lead to the future unconditioned response of nausea in the presence of the candy. This principle is unique, in that an association can form with any food or drink. The illness that follows can be directly caused by the food or drink, or have no link at all. That means if you are due to get a stomach flu on the same day you eat your mother’s famous lasagna, you may want to consider skipping family lasagna night. You might just develop a conditioned taste aversion to that good food, for no good reason.
If you are one of the folks that have a taste aversion, it’s not a condition that generally requires counseling. These aversions fade away over time naturally, though the length of time varies based upon how strong this aversion is in the first place.
Interestingly enough this phenomenon has been used by psychologists to help treat alcohol addiction. Addicts with a very serious addiction to alcohol have been known to take a pill, called Antabuse, and then if they decide to drink a beer for example, the addict gets very ill and sick to the stomach. This association is supposed to trigger an aversion to the sight, smell, or taste of alcohol if the addict feels like they need a drink. The true effectiveness has mixed results in the scientific research community,
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cleveland_Alexander