Studies that make use of separate measures to capture 'liking' and 'wanting' components of food reward signal a paradigm shift in research on hedonic (over)eating in man. In a recent review, Havermans (2011) highlighted some key methodological and theoretical challenges faced by those working on this issue. Unfortunately, this selective reading of the recent literature in the field presents a skewed picture; but it should not dampen the building momentum. On the other hand the paper is a timely call for researchers to clarify some of the neological confusion that has inevitably been generated along the way. In this response to Havermans (2011), we offer a more robust review of current progress in the assessment of 'liking' vs. 'wanting' food in human appetite. The evidence supports important theoretical and practical implications for a dual-process account of food reward; the developing nature of the research means the majority of these remain tantalisingly unexplored.
- Implicit wanting