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Type: Thesis
Title: Understanding people’s judgments of the healthiness of food labels: Two reasoning processes or one?
Author: Kang, Seok-Jun
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Various types of food label systems have been created to promote healthy food choices, but the cognitive processes that underlie healthiness assessments are not well understood. Influential dual-process theories have been applied to help understand how people make healthiness assessments, positing a distinction between Type 1 processing, which is intuitive, and generally faster and more error-prone, and Type 2 processing, which is explicit, generally slower and tends to be more accurate. However, the validity of dual-process theories has been challenged. As an alternative, single-process theories state that a range of judgments (such as fast versus slow ones) are based on a common form of assessment. To experimentally test these competing theories, a two-response task was implemented, with fictional food product stimuli that varied in summary Health Star Ratings (HSRs), detailed Nutrition Information Panels (NIPs) and branding logos. Participants first rated the food’s healthiness based on their initial impression of the entire label, as quickly as possible. Participants then made a second healthiness rating based on careful examination of the NIP. Results showed that HSRs and logos have a larger effect on the fast first responses, whereas NIPs have a larger effect on the slower second responses. This is consistent with classic dual-process theories. However, when the data were examined using Signed Difference Analysis, there were no ordinal patterns that were forbidden by a single-process model that was based on signal detection framework. Therefore, such formal single-process models offer a viable account of people’s healthiness assessments.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
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