Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Faculty Advisor

Ethan A. MacMahan


The current study looked at the short term and long term effects of consumption of dark chocolate versus apples on mood levels. There were 36 participants, 26 female and 10 male with a mean age of M = 20.25 and SD = 2.65 years. Using a 7-point Likert-type scale, participants were asked to rate a series of items that pertained to their current mood scaling from (1) meaning not at all to (7) meaning very strongly (Macht & Dettmer, 2006). For the first day, participants recorded their mood levels after consumption of either chocolate, apples, or water at four intervals: 1, 5, 30, and 60 minutes after eating. For the next two days, participants recorded their mood levels at 30 and 60 minutes only. Using a mixed factorial ANOVA, short term results were not statistically significant, indicating that palatability had no effect. Then, using a second mixed factorial ANOVA, long term results showed a significant result for time (F(1) = 5.713, p < .05, η² = .023). This result shows that moods, regardless of food, decreased over time. There were no significant results for the time by group interaction for long term effects. These results indicate that dark chocolate and apples do not differentially affect mood level over time. However, data trends suggest that with more participants, a significant effect may be seen, but further research is needed.