People are often reluctant when it comes to approaching novel food. This behavioural tendency falls under the label of food neophobia. Prior research based on mere exposure indicated that novel foods are more likely approached when perceived as more familiar. The present paper proposes a strategy to increase the perceived familiarity of ethnic food that is not based on direct exposure, but instead, on comparative thinking. Across three pre-registered studies (n = 649), the impact of a comparison focus manipulation on familiarity, perceived closeness, and intention to try ethnic foods was tested. Participants were presented with ethnic recipes and asked to highlight the ingredients that made the recipe alike vs. different from known food. Study 1 revealed that focusing on similarities increased the perceived familiarity of an ethnic food relative to a no-comparison condition, but not to a difference condition. As the latter non-significant comparison was likely due to the specific features of the ethnic food considered, in Studies 2 and 3 a mixed design was adopted. Each participant was asked to process two different ethnic recipes, one assigned to a no-comparison focus task and the other to a comparison focus (similarity vs. difference) task. Results demonstrated that the food assigned to the comparison task increased in familiarity and perceived closeness, whereas the effect did not emerge on behavioural intentions. Crucially, this was true only when the comparison focus was on the similarities with Italian recipes. These findings provide useful insights for future research within the context of food-behaviour change.

Mattavelli, S., Rizzoli, V. (2022). When novel and familiar look alike: Testing the impact of comparison focus on familiarity and behavioural intentions towards ethnic food. FOOD QUALITY AND PREFERENCE, 99(July 2022) [10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104567].

When novel and familiar look alike: Testing the impact of comparison focus on familiarity and behavioural intentions towards ethnic food

Mattavelli, S
Primo
;
2022

Abstract

People are often reluctant when it comes to approaching novel food. This behavioural tendency falls under the label of food neophobia. Prior research based on mere exposure indicated that novel foods are more likely approached when perceived as more familiar. The present paper proposes a strategy to increase the perceived familiarity of ethnic food that is not based on direct exposure, but instead, on comparative thinking. Across three pre-registered studies (n = 649), the impact of a comparison focus manipulation on familiarity, perceived closeness, and intention to try ethnic foods was tested. Participants were presented with ethnic recipes and asked to highlight the ingredients that made the recipe alike vs. different from known food. Study 1 revealed that focusing on similarities increased the perceived familiarity of an ethnic food relative to a no-comparison condition, but not to a difference condition. As the latter non-significant comparison was likely due to the specific features of the ethnic food considered, in Studies 2 and 3 a mixed design was adopted. Each participant was asked to process two different ethnic recipes, one assigned to a no-comparison focus task and the other to a comparison focus (similarity vs. difference) task. Results demonstrated that the food assigned to the comparison task increased in familiarity and perceived closeness, whereas the effect did not emerge on behavioural intentions. Crucially, this was true only when the comparison focus was on the similarities with Italian recipes. These findings provide useful insights for future research within the context of food-behaviour change.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Comparison focus; Ethnic food; Familiarity; Food neophobia; Similarity;
English
Mattavelli, S., Rizzoli, V. (2022). When novel and familiar look alike: Testing the impact of comparison focus on familiarity and behavioural intentions towards ethnic food. FOOD QUALITY AND PREFERENCE, 99(July 2022) [10.1016/j.foodqual.2022.104567].
Mattavelli, S; Rizzoli, V
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/396174
Citazioni
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
Social impact