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Moral rebels and dietary deviants: How moral minority stereotypes predict the social attractiveness of veg*ns.
Appetite. 2021 09 01; 164:105284.A

Abstract

In this preregistered study we examined why people with an omnivorous diet (i.e., omnivores) would view vegetarians and vegans (i.e., veg*ns) as less socially attractive based on their status as stigmatized moral minorities. Drawing on a recently demonstrated distinction between perceived morality and sociability in research on universal dimensions of stereotype content, we expected that veg*ns would be perceived as more moral but less sociable compared to omnivores. A lower perceived sociability would predict a lower social attractiveness of veg*ns, supported by two additional stereotypes theorized to be specifically associated with moral minorities: moralistic and eccentric impressions. In addition, we explored impressions toward people who consciously reduce their meat intake (i.e., flexitarians) and we complemented our quantitative analysis with an analysis of stereotype content omnivores freely associated with the dietary groups. Accordingly, using a single factor between-subjects experimental design, we randomly allocated a diverse sample of omnivores from the UK to answer questions about either omnivores (n = 100), flexitarians (n = 101), vegetarians (n = 105) or vegans (n = 106). Results largely confirmed our hypotheses: Although veg*ns were perceived as more moral, they were also stereotyped more negatively (especially vegans). More specifically, they were seen as more eccentric and, in particular, more moralistic, predicting a lower social attractiveness, though indirect effects via sociability were relatively small. Notably, flexitarians shared positive attributes of both non-flexitarian groups. Free association data were largely consistent with our results and provide additional direction for further inquiry. Novel theoretical contributions are highlighted and limitations, future research directions, and implications of our study for theory and practice are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Persuasive Communication, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University, Korte Meer 7(-9-11), 9000, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: ben.degroeve@ugent.be.Center for Persuasive Communication, Department of Communication Sciences, Ghent University, Korte Meer 7(-9-11), 9000, Ghent, Belgium; Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organisation, Ghent University, Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.Department of Economics, Ghent University, Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33930498

Citation

De Groeve, Ben, et al. "Moral Rebels and Dietary Deviants: How Moral Minority Stereotypes Predict the Social Attractiveness of Veg*ns." Appetite, vol. 164, 2021, p. 105284.
De Groeve B, Hudders L, Bleys B. Moral rebels and dietary deviants: How moral minority stereotypes predict the social attractiveness of veg*ns. Appetite. 2021;164:105284.
De Groeve, B., Hudders, L., & Bleys, B. (2021). Moral rebels and dietary deviants: How moral minority stereotypes predict the social attractiveness of veg*ns. Appetite, 164, 105284. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105284
De Groeve B, Hudders L, Bleys B. Moral Rebels and Dietary Deviants: How Moral Minority Stereotypes Predict the Social Attractiveness of Veg*ns. Appetite. 2021 09 1;164:105284. PubMed PMID: 33930498.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Moral rebels and dietary deviants: How moral minority stereotypes predict the social attractiveness of veg*ns. AU - De Groeve,Ben, AU - Hudders,Liselot, AU - Bleys,Brent, Y1 - 2021/04/27/ PY - 2020/04/01/received PY - 2020/08/20/revised PY - 2021/04/22/accepted PY - 2021/5/1/pubmed PY - 2021/6/29/medline PY - 2021/4/30/entrez KW - Dietary identity KW - Flexitarians KW - Moral minorities KW - Multimethod approach KW - Stereotype content KW - Vegaphobia SP - 105284 EP - 105284 JF - Appetite JO - Appetite VL - 164 N2 - In this preregistered study we examined why people with an omnivorous diet (i.e., omnivores) would view vegetarians and vegans (i.e., veg*ns) as less socially attractive based on their status as stigmatized moral minorities. Drawing on a recently demonstrated distinction between perceived morality and sociability in research on universal dimensions of stereotype content, we expected that veg*ns would be perceived as more moral but less sociable compared to omnivores. A lower perceived sociability would predict a lower social attractiveness of veg*ns, supported by two additional stereotypes theorized to be specifically associated with moral minorities: moralistic and eccentric impressions. In addition, we explored impressions toward people who consciously reduce their meat intake (i.e., flexitarians) and we complemented our quantitative analysis with an analysis of stereotype content omnivores freely associated with the dietary groups. Accordingly, using a single factor between-subjects experimental design, we randomly allocated a diverse sample of omnivores from the UK to answer questions about either omnivores (n = 100), flexitarians (n = 101), vegetarians (n = 105) or vegans (n = 106). Results largely confirmed our hypotheses: Although veg*ns were perceived as more moral, they were also stereotyped more negatively (especially vegans). More specifically, they were seen as more eccentric and, in particular, more moralistic, predicting a lower social attractiveness, though indirect effects via sociability were relatively small. Notably, flexitarians shared positive attributes of both non-flexitarian groups. Free association data were largely consistent with our results and provide additional direction for further inquiry. Novel theoretical contributions are highlighted and limitations, future research directions, and implications of our study for theory and practice are discussed. SN - 1095-8304 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33930498/Moral_rebels_and_dietary_deviants:_How_moral_minority_stereotypes_predict_the_social_attractiveness_of_veg_ns_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0195-6663(21)00191-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -