Organic Food Appeals to Intuition and Triggers Stereotypes

  •  Marjaana Lindeman    
  •  Joonas Anttila    


Evidence suggests that the benefits of organic food are overstated. In study 1, factors predicting positive attitudes toward organic food (OF), food processing and additives were investigated. Intuitive thinking style was the strongest predictor, followed by categorical thinking, belief in simplicity of knowledge and susceptibility to health myths. In Study 2, the effect of OF consumer status on perceived warmth and competence was examined. OF-positive participants rated the OF consumer similarly as the conventional consumer. However, OF-negative participants regarded the OF consumer as warmer but less competent than the conventional consumer. In Study 3, perceptions of a couple were examined similarly. OF consumer couple's relationship was more idealized by the OF-positive participants whereas other participants regarded the OF consumer couple's relationship as less satisfactory. In addition, intuitive thinking style increased positive judgments about the stimulus persons in Studies 2 and 3. Eating organic food may thus evoke positive and negative stereotypes, and intuitive thinkers may be especially receptive to OF marketing and influenced by a preference for natural.

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