Broken halos and shattered horns: overcoming the biasing effects of prior expectations through objective information disclosure
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
- Anderson, J. (1983). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Chaiken, S., Liberman, A., & Eagly, A. H. (1989). Heuristic and systematic information processing within and beyond the persuasion context. In J. S. Uleman & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), Unintended thought (pp. 212–252). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Federal Register. (2010). Nutrition labeling of single-ingredient products and ground or chopped meat and poultry products: Final rule. 75, 82148–82167.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Husted, R. (2005). Consumers say they are eating beef less often and cite health concerns: Issues update. Retrieved June 29, 2011 from http://www.beef.org/uDocs/groundbeefresearch.pdf.
- International Food Information Council. (2013). 2013 food & health survey: Consumer attitudes toward food safety, nutrition, & health. Available at: http://www.foodinsight.org/Resources/Detail.aspx?topic=2013_Food_Health_CPE_Webcast_Information.
- Keller, S., Landry, M., Olson, J., Velliquette, A., Burton, S., & Andrews, J. C. (1997). The effects of nutrition package claims, nutrition facts panels, and motivation to process nutrition information on consumer product evaluations. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 16, 256–269.Google Scholar
- Kenny, D. A. (2013). Mediation. Available at: http://davidakenny.net/cm/mediate.htm.
- Leonard, B. (2011). US chicken consumption increases in 2010 after three-year decline. Retrieved August 30, 2012 from http://www.wattagnet.com/US_chicken_consumption_increases_in_2010_after_three-year_decline.html.
- MacKinnon, D. P. (2008). Introduction to statistical mediation. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Mitra, A., Hastak, M., Ford, G. T., & Ringold, D. J. (1999). Can the educationally disadvantaged interpret the FDA-mandated nutrition facts panel in the presence of an implied health claim? Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 18(1), 106–117.Google Scholar
- Newman, C. L., Howlett, E., & Burton, S. (2014). Shopper responses to front-of-package nutrition labeling programs: potential consumer and retail store benefits. Journal of Retailing, 90(1), 13–26.Google Scholar
- Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). (1990). Public Law 101-535, 104 Stat. 2355.Google Scholar
- Olson, J. C., & Dover, P. A. (1976). Effects of expectation creation and disconfirmation on belief elements of cognitive structure. In B. B. Anderson (Ed.), Advances in consumer research (pp. 168–175). Cincinnati: Association for Consumer Research.Google Scholar
- Roe, B., Levy, A., & Derby, B. (1999). The impact of health claims on consumer search and product evaluation outcomes: results from FDA experimental data. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 18, 89–105.Google Scholar
- Sherif, M., & Hovland, C. I. (1961). Social judgment: Assimilation and contrast effects in communication and attitude change. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- USDA. (2013a). U.S. Beef and cattle industry: Background statistics and information. Retrieved December 28, 2013 from: http://www.ers.usda.gov/news/BSECoverage.htm.
- USDA. (2013b). U.S. Poultry production and value 2012 summary. Retrieved December 28, 2013 from: http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1130.
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service. (2012). USDA national nutrient database for standard reference, Release 23. Retrieved June 21, 2012 from http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl.