Broken halos and shattered horns: overcoming the biasing effects of prior expectations through objective information disclosure
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In three studies the authors seek to extend prior research by examining the simultaneous effects of positive (halos) and negative (horns) health-related inferences. How the provision of objective point-of-purchase nutrition information moderates the effects of these pre-existing health halo and health horn effects on food evaluations and choices is considered. In Study 1 predictions addressing the interaction between a recently mandated objective nutrition disclosure and initial product category healthfulness perceptions are proposed and supported. Study 2 extends findings from this initial online experiment to a more realistic retail environment, and Study 3 addresses how different presentation exposure contexts (on a package compared to a nutrition poster) affects evaluations and how evaluations related to the information disclosure are linked. Since the USDA recently required retailers to provide nutrition information at the point-of-purchase for beef and poultry products, these results have important implications for consumers, producers, retailers, and policy makers.
KeywordsHealth halos Consumer expectations Heuristic-systematic processing Retail food choices Retail product labeling Consumer inferences Product disclosure
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