Satiation is defined as the reduction in pleasure associated with increased consumption of a product or experience. Thus, the more a person consumes, the less pleasure they gain from the consumption. It is generally understood that satiation acts as an internal meter that fills with consumption and decreases with the passage of time. One of the first studies in the area was conducted by Joseph Redden at the Carlson School. Redden demonstrated the role that subcategorization had on reducing the level of satiation that a subject perceived. Specifically, the study proved that subjects experience less satiation when they are able to categorize experiences at more specific levels (ie categorizing their meals as Chinese and American as opposed to the general category of food).
Further studies conducted by Redden and other prominent researchers, demonstrated that the presence of variety helped to both reduce the perceived quantity of a consumed item and accelerate the subject’s recovery from satiation. These studies revealed that satiation is perceived in the moment of consumption. That is, the subjects take a subjective account of how much they have consumed previously and this gives them an estimate of their current level of satiation. The fact that the evaluation of satiation is taken in the moment and is based on past consumption offers individuals a method for reducing that level of perceived satiation: by subcategorizing their past experiences into different categories and increase the level of perceived variation, thus reducing satiation.