Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Sweet taste of prosocial status signaling: When eating organic foods makes you happy and hopeful.
Appetite. 2018 Feb 01; 121:348-359.A

Abstract

As the current research suggests that there are links between prosocial acts and status signaling (including sustainable consumer choices), we empirically study (with three experiments) whether food consumers go green to be seen. First, we examine how activating a motive for status influences prosocial organic food preferences. Then, we examine how the social visibility of the choice (private vs. public) affects these preferences. We found that when consumers' desire for status was elicited, they preferred organic food products significantly over their nonorganic counterparts; making the choice situation visible created the same effect. Finally, we go beyond consumers' evaluative and behavioral domains that have typically been addressed to investigate whether this (nonconscious) "going green to be seen" effect is also evident at the level of more physiologically-driven food responses. Indeed, status motives and reputational concerns created an improved senso-emotional experience of organic food. Specifically, when consumers were led to believe that they have to share their organic food taste experiences with others, an elevation could be detected not only in the pleasantness ratings but also in how joyful and hopeful they felt after eating a food sample. We claim that the reason for this is that a tendency to favor organic foods can be viewed as a costly signaling trait, leading to flaunting about one's prosocial tendencies. According to these findings, highlighting socially disapproved consumption motives, such as reputation management, may be an effective way to increase the relatively low sales of organic foods and thereby promote sustainable consumer behavior.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University of Vaasa, Department of Marketing, Foodwest Ltd, Vaasantie 1 C, 60100 Seinäjoki, Finland. Electronic address: petteri.puska@uva.fi.University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Kampusranta 9 C, 60320 Seinäjoki, Finland. Electronic address: sami.p.kurki@helsinki.fi.University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Kampusranta 9 C, 60320 Seinäjoki, Finland. Electronic address: merja.lahdesmaki@helsinki.fi.University of Jyväskylä (JSBE), Corporate Environmental Management, Mattilanniemi 2, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland. Electronic address: marjo.siltaoja@jyu.fi.University of Vaasa, Department of Marketing, Foodwest Ltd, Vaasantie 1 C, 60100 Seinäjoki, Finland. Electronic address: harri.luomala@uva.fi.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29180074

Citation

Puska, Petteri, et al. "Sweet Taste of Prosocial Status Signaling: when Eating Organic Foods Makes You Happy and Hopeful." Appetite, vol. 121, 2018, pp. 348-359.
Puska P, Kurki S, Lähdesmäki M, et al. Sweet taste of prosocial status signaling: When eating organic foods makes you happy and hopeful. Appetite. 2018;121:348-359.
Puska, P., Kurki, S., Lähdesmäki, M., Siltaoja, M., & Luomala, H. (2018). Sweet taste of prosocial status signaling: When eating organic foods makes you happy and hopeful. Appetite, 121, 348-359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.102
Puska P, et al. Sweet Taste of Prosocial Status Signaling: when Eating Organic Foods Makes You Happy and Hopeful. Appetite. 2018 Feb 1;121:348-359. PubMed PMID: 29180074.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sweet taste of prosocial status signaling: When eating organic foods makes you happy and hopeful. AU - Puska,Petteri, AU - Kurki,Sami, AU - Lähdesmäki,Merja, AU - Siltaoja,Marjo, AU - Luomala,Harri, Y1 - 2017/11/26/ PY - 2017/04/04/received PY - 2017/10/24/revised PY - 2017/11/21/accepted PY - 2017/11/29/pubmed PY - 2018/8/10/medline PY - 2017/11/29/entrez KW - Motivational priming KW - Nonconscious behavior KW - Organic food KW - Prosocial signaling KW - Senso-emotional experience KW - Status SP - 348 EP - 359 JF - Appetite JO - Appetite VL - 121 N2 - As the current research suggests that there are links between prosocial acts and status signaling (including sustainable consumer choices), we empirically study (with three experiments) whether food consumers go green to be seen. First, we examine how activating a motive for status influences prosocial organic food preferences. Then, we examine how the social visibility of the choice (private vs. public) affects these preferences. We found that when consumers' desire for status was elicited, they preferred organic food products significantly over their nonorganic counterparts; making the choice situation visible created the same effect. Finally, we go beyond consumers' evaluative and behavioral domains that have typically been addressed to investigate whether this (nonconscious) "going green to be seen" effect is also evident at the level of more physiologically-driven food responses. Indeed, status motives and reputational concerns created an improved senso-emotional experience of organic food. Specifically, when consumers were led to believe that they have to share their organic food taste experiences with others, an elevation could be detected not only in the pleasantness ratings but also in how joyful and hopeful they felt after eating a food sample. We claim that the reason for this is that a tendency to favor organic foods can be viewed as a costly signaling trait, leading to flaunting about one's prosocial tendencies. According to these findings, highlighting socially disapproved consumption motives, such as reputation management, may be an effective way to increase the relatively low sales of organic foods and thereby promote sustainable consumer behavior. SN - 1095-8304 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29180074/Sweet_taste_of_prosocial_status_signaling:_When_eating_organic_foods_makes_you_happy_and_hopeful_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0195-6663(17)30524-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -