Don't you start craving when you see pizza or burger advertisement? A research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology has found that food ads intensify unhealthy cravings.
Eager to understand the reasons for this growing crisis, marketing researchers explored whether holistic thinking patterns-which are generally more common in Eastern countries-could make consumers in these parts of the world more susceptible to certain types of advertisements for unhealthy foods.
Holistic thinkers tend to believe that everything in the world is somehow interconnected, and they are more likely to consider the context of a situation, said Utah Valley University assistant professor Dustin Harding, one of the authors. An advertisement showing a bag of popcorn in the context of a movie theatre would likely evoke feelings related to enjoying popcorn while watching a good flick- feelings that increase craving for the snack. Analytical thinkers, however, are less likely to consider the context because they view the universe as independent objects that are not connected. They would probably see the popcorn in isolation from the theatre and experience fewer cravings than their holistic counterparts.
To test whether certain advertisements induced higher levels of cravings in holistic thinkers, Harding's team conducted several experiments. In one study, participants placed cotton dental rolls in their mouths to measure salivary responses while they viewed one of two images: a chocolate bar in a movie theatre or against a solid grey background. The researchers discovered that holistic thinkers salivated more than analytical thinkers when they saw the chocolate bar in the context of the movie theatre, but there was no difference between the groups when the chocolate bar was shown on a grey background.
The investigators conducted another experiment in which participants saw a healthy choice (arugula pizza) or unhealthy choice (cheese pizza) in the context of either a pizzeria or a plain, white background. Other participants viewed a healthy taco salad or unhealthy burrito in a Mexican restaurant or against a white background. Then the participants were asked to rate the extent to which they craved the foods and how likely they would be to buy the foods.
(With ANI inputs)
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