Taste Aversion

Andrew Kelly

Taste Aversion

Blog Post #3


In Psych 100, we just recently learned about a phenomena call taste aversion.  Taste aversion is, essentially, when a human develops some sort of reluctance towards foods or drinks if they become sick afterwards.  After learning about this in lecture, I immediately thought of a similar occurrence that I had experienced when I was younger.

When I was younger, ear infections were a very common occurrence in my life.  As many as four to five times a year, I can remember sitting in the doctor’s office, with an ear ache, just waiting for my doctor to tell me, once again, that I had an ear infection.  The more I had an ear infection, the stronger the prescription they would give me.

So there I was again, sitting in the doctors office when he came it with a new prescription.  He began to explain and elaborate how this stronger prescription would do the trick.  However, these pills were far different than the ones I had previously taken.  They were much larger, and had a foul smell attached to them as soon as you would open the bottle.  So everyday for the next two weeks, I would have to take not only one, but two of these pills to get better.  I thought it wasn’t so bad until I tried to take the first dose that same day.  Plugging my nose to eliminate the smell, I took the first pill immediately got sick to my stomach.  And that was only the first pill for that day so I still had one to go.  Again, agonizing as I attempted to swallow the pill, I managed to get it down and the sickening feeling got even worse.

Every time I would take the pill, I would wash it down with a glass of chocolate milk.  However, the taste of the pill was so strong that not even chocolate milk could wash it down.  I began to make an association with the taste of the pill with the chocolate milk.  So after I was done with the prescription, I couldn’t take a sip of chocolate milk without cringing and becoming sick to my stomach.  I would become sick every time I had tried.  This taste aversion made me stray away from chocolate milk for a while.

Within the taste aversion phenomena, we were also learned about biological preparedness in where the sense of taste was a much stronger reminder of a specific event.  In my case the taste of chocolate milk brought me back to the sick feeling in my stomach.  However, if I were to smell chocolate milk or any other sense that can be associated with chocolate milk, I would feel little to no effect on how I was feeling.  This demonstrates that everything cannot be learned equally well.

After learning about these two phenomena’s, especially taste aversion, it was very interesting to learn about why such an event had happened to me when I was a child.

Leave a Reply