A social norms and identity approach to increasing fruit and vegetable intake of undergraduate students in the United Kingdom
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
This study investigated the influence of descriptive norm messages that either communicated that university students eat a sufficient amount of fruit and vegetable (F&V) or that they do not, on F&V consumption, and whether or not any effects are moderated by student identification. An online 2 (Norm: ‘Sufficient’/‘Insufficient’) x 2 (Identification: ‘Low’/‘High’) experimental design was employed. Infographics containing ‘sufficient’/‘insufficient’ F&V intake descriptive norms were presented. An identification manipulation was employed to create ‘high’/‘low’ student identifiers. F&V intake intentions were assessed after the manipulations; self-reported F&V intake was reported at 2 days post-intervention. UK undergraduate students (N=180) reported intake intentions, of which 112 (62%) completed the behavioral follow-up. Participants were predominantly white female students from Scottish universities, mean age 20.4 (±1.6) years. Baseline mean F&V consumption was high (4.5±2.8). There were no significant main effects of Norm or Identification manipulations on F&V intentions and intake. Significant norm×identification interactions were revealed for fruit intake intentions and vegetable intake at follow-up, indicating half portion differences (~40g) between groups. Ironic effects were observed for ‘high’ identifiers, who neither intended to, nor acted in accordance with group norms; ‘low’ student identifiers intended to and followed group norms, whereby the ‘sufficient’/‘low’ group intended to consume significantly more fruit portions, and consumed more vegetables than the ‘insufficient’/‘low’ group. Given the half-portion differences between groups resulting from the norm×identification interactions, future research on a larger sample of young adults with low F&V intake is warranted to further explore the conditions under which moderating effects of identification are observed and the underlying mechanisms.
Fischera , W , van Beusekom , M , Higgs , S & Cecil , J 2022 , ' A social norms and identity approach to increasing fruit and vegetable intake of undergraduate students in the United Kingdom ' , Frontiers in Psychology , vol. 13 , 838394 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.838394
Frontiers in Psychology
Copyright © 2022 Fischera, van Beusekom, Higgs and Cecil. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
DescriptionThe funding for open access was supported by the University of St Andrews.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.