ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (9): 1651-1660.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.01651

• 研究前沿 • 上一篇    下一篇


傅于玲1,2, 邓富民1,*(), 杨帅3, 徐玖平1   

  1. 1四川大学商学院, 成都 610041
    2成都理工大学心理健康教育中心, 成都 610059
    3重庆邮电大学教育发展研究院, 重庆 400065
  • 收稿日期:2017-10-16 出版日期:2018-09-15 发布日期:2018-07-30
  • 通讯作者: 邓富民
  • 基金资助:

A bite of “masochism”: The psychological issues of eating spicy food

FU Yuling1,2, DENG Fumin1,*(), YANG Shuai3, XU Jiuping1   

  1. 1 Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
    2 Psychological Health Education & Research Center, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China;
    3 Research Institute of Education Development, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing 400065, China
  • Received:2017-10-16 Online:2018-09-15 Published:2018-07-30
  • Contact: Fumin DENG


吃辣产生灼痛感, 却成为享乐。纯粹接触效应、良性自虐说等可诠释食辣的原因。食辣与感觉寻求、冒险、奖励敏感度、攻击和易怒的特质和心理状态密切相关。具身隐喻理论认为食辣的心理效应可能具身于身体的生理体验之中。食辣的脑基础涉及脑岛的岛短回和下丘脑, 但尚未发现更高级功能脑区的激活。未来研究可进一步挖掘食辣的心理根源, 深入探究食辣心理效应的具身隐喻机制和脑机制, 并开展食辣心理在感官营销和饮食文化营销领域的应用。

关键词: 辣味, 具身隐喻, 良性自虐, 脑岛岛短回


Ingestion of spicy food causes a burning sensation, which is innately aversive, but has been considered a hedonistic behavior. The pleasure of eating spicy food may derive, merely, from the exposure effect, and it could be considered as “benign masochism”, due to the perception of taking a “minimal risk”. Post-intake effect, social pressure, and genetic factors could also lead to the consumption of spicy foods. The spicy taste has been related to multiple personality traits, and to psychological states, including sensation seeking; risk taking; and sensitivity to reward, aggression, and anger, and could thus produce relevant consequential behaviors. The burning sensation is caused by the activation of the capsaicin receptor (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 [TrpV1]), which functions both as a thermoreceptor and as a nociceptor. Concerning the brain processing of spicy taste, the anterior short gyrus (ASG) causes an increase in body temperature through the hypothalamus. Moreover, the neural coordination between the middle and posterior short gyri, and the ASG may also be implicated in autonomic responses, as in body temperature increase. According to the embodied metaphor theory, the psychological effects of spicy taste might be represented in the body, since there are shared physiological sensations, such as heat. Future studies should explore the motives leading to spicy food consumption, with regards to gender and cultural differences. Meanwhile, the embodied metaphor mechanism of the effects of spicy taste and the brain mechanisms, induced by eating spicy food, should be further examined. Furthermore, psychology research on spicy food intake could have applications in marketing, especially in sensory marketing, and in the promotion of diet cultures that incorporate spicy tastes.

Key words: spicy taste, embodied metaphor, benign masochism, short gyri of the insula