It's true: Chocolate DOES taste better when you're on a dietScientists prove a sneaked treat always tastes betterSubjects who were made to feel guilty before 'naughty food' enjoyed it moreIt is because 'pleasure triggers guilt' and vice versa<br>

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<strong>UPDATED:</strong>

12:24 GMT, 23 November 2012

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<br><p>There are few pleasures greater than guiltily abandoning the diet and tucking into a naughty slab of chocolate cake, or mountain of chips. <br></p><p>But it seems there could be a scientific reason why a sneaky treat always tastes just that little bit better. </p><p>Researchers from Northwestern University, in Illinois, have found that people who are 'primed with guilt' enjoy things more. <br></p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/b0aaarticle-2237333-162D37C2000005DC-26_468x389.jpg" width="468" height="389" alt="Researchers have found there could be a scientific reason why we all have a 'guilty pleasure' " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Researchers have found there could be a scientific reason why we all have a 'guilty pleasure' </p>
<p>The research was led by Kelly Goldsmith, who said she first came up with the idea when a co-worker mentioned that she had just joined Weight Watchers.</p><p>Pro Goldsmith recalls: 'She said, &#8216;Gosh, why does everything just taste better when you&#8217;re on a diet&#8217;'</p><p>

</p><p>'That got me and my advisor talking. Does stuff actually taste better when you&#8217;re on a diet Does stuff taste better when you feel guilty eating it'</p><p>The resulting study, published in The Journal of Marketing Research, was made up of six different experiments. </p><p>In the first researchers split participants into two groups and asked them to view six magazine covers. <br></p>
<img src="http://www.big-wife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/b0e1article-2237333-04AE37A40000044D-497_233x405.jpg" width="233" height="405" alt="Researchers have found that people who are 'primed with guilt' enjoy things more" class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Researchers have found that people who are 'primed with guilt' enjoy things more</p>
<p>Half looked at health related magazine covers and half looked at covers which were completely unrelated. <br></p><p>They were all then given chocolate bars for what they were told was a 'taste study', reports Medical Daily. <br></p><p>All of those who had been reading about healthy eating reported that the chocolate tasted better than those who had not.</p><p>A second experiment split around 100 undergraduate students into three groups and asked them to describe three
experiences in a few sentences. <br></p><p>It included times
that they felt guilty, times that they
felt disgusted, and the final third were asked to describe three random
times.</p><p>Then all the students were given a chocolate truffle to eat. <br></p><p>All of the students who relived their guiltiest moments reported that the
chocolate truffle tasted better than the other groups.</p><p>But the link between guilt and pleasure does not stop at food. <br></p><p>In another experiment, women were made to feel guilty and then shown online profiles of attractive men on a dating website. <br></p><p> The study found the women who had felt guilty prior to looking at men derived much more
pleasure from the experience.</p><p>'Guilt is linked with pleasure because often times when we experience guilt, we experience pleasure,' Goldsmith says. </p><p>'I think for a lot of people these cognitive associations can form just based on what we called repeated coactivation. <br></p><p>'When pleasure&#8217;s activated, guilt is activated, and so in our brains, over time, those two become connected.'</p><p><br></p>