Academic article

Projective mapping with food stickers: A good tool for better understanding perception of fish in children of different ages

Daltoe, Marina Mitterer; Breda, Leandra Schuastz; Belusso, A.C.; Nogueira, Barbara Arruda; Rodrigues, Deyse Pegorini; Fiszman, Susana; Varela-Tomasco, Paula

Publication details

Journal: Food Quality and Preference, p. 87–96, 2017

Publisher: Elsevier

Issue: 57

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 0950-3293
Electronic: 1873-6343

Open Access: green


The objective of this study was to better understand the perception of fish products among school children
of three different age groups, 5–6 years, 7–8 years and 9–0 years. In order to do so, we used
Projective Mapping (PM) with food stickers and a word association task (WA). A total of 149 children
from three public schools in the state of Parana, Brazil, have participated on this study. The age groups
were interviewed (on 1–1 basis) by six monitors qualified to apply the sensory methods used. Ten stickers
with drawings of healthy foods (sushi, salad, fruit, fish, chicken), and less-healthy foods (pizza, flan,
cake, hamburger, french fries) were given to the children. They were then asked to stick them on an
A3 sheet, in a way that the products they considered similar should be positioned close to each other,
and those they considered very different should be kept apart. Afterwards, they were asked to described
the images and group of images (ultra flash profile). The PM was easily used and understood by all children,
and the use of images may potentially have eased its application. Result analyses showed different
perceptions from the different age groups. Hedonic perceptions in relation to fish products had a higher
weight in the perceptual spaces of older children. WA technique proved to be an important tool to understand
fish perception by children, and reinforced the results previously obtained by PM. These results
may imply that there could be a window of opportunity in which younger children will be more open
to eat fish.