Date of Award


First Advisor

Jennifer Daniels

Second Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer


Ideal, if not critical to understanding the context of cooking and eating in the modern era is the nature of cooking shows, and similar media. It is worth noting that the ubiquity of TV cooking shows in modern media has been present in most every form since the beginning of those mediums. This thesis explores the history of cooking shows, from the early radio show, The Betty Crocker School of the Air, to the first televised show, Cooks Night Out , to Julia Child, and to the contemporary phenomena of Iron Chef , and The Food Network. Psychological and social factors associated with eating and cooking are examined in relation to cooking shows. Much of this thesis was written during the COVID-19 crisis, a time when more and more people were cooking, stores ran out of many staples, and lots of people are baking bread and watching cooking programs. The analysis concludes with a discussion of food justice and ideas about what might be the future of the psychology of cooking.

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