Document Detail

Healthy and Unhealthy Social Norms and Food Selection: Findings From a Field-Experiment.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23402712     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The behavior of others in people's social environment (i.e., descriptive norms), as well as their opinions regarding appropriate actions (i.e., injunctive norms) strongly influence people's decisions and actions. The goal of this study was to extend prior laboratory research on the influence of social norms on food choices, by conducting a field-experiment in an on-campus food court. One of three different messages was posted on a given day: a healthy descriptive norm, healthy injunctive norm, or an unhealthy descriptive norm. Effects of these social norms messages on food choice were compared against each other and a no-message control condition. In total, 687 students reported their food choice through a questionnaire provided to them. Food choices were analyzed for participants who reported being exposed to one of the social norms signs and those in the control condition (N = 220). Findings showed that the healthy descriptive norm resulted in more healthy food choices, compared to an unhealthy descriptive norm, as well as the control condition. The difference between the injunctive healthy norm and the control condition was not significant, though those in the injunctive norm condition did make more healthy decisions, than those in the unhealthy descriptive norm condition. Implications with regard to theory and practice are discussed.
Saar Mollen; Rajiv N Rimal; Robert A C Ruiter; Gerjo Kok
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-2-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  Appetite     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-8304     ISO Abbreviation:  Appetite     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-2-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006808     Medline TA:  Appetite     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Department of Work & Social Psychology Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience Maastricht University The Netherlands; Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) University of Amsterdam Kloveniersburgwal 48 1012 CX Amsterdam The Netherlands. Electronic address:
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