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Regulate me! Self-control dissatisfaction in meat reduction success relates to stronger support for behavior-regulating policy


Kukowski, Charlotte A; Bernecker, Katharina; Nielsen, Kristian S; Hofmann, Wilhelm; Brandstätter, Veronika (2023). Regulate me! Self-control dissatisfaction in meat reduction success relates to stronger support for behavior-regulating policy. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 85:101922.

Abstract

Recent work suggests that most individuals support policies targeting the immediate economic and physical food environment to change behavior. The present set of studies builds upon this preliminary evidence by testing the idea that people who are dissatisfied with their self-regulation success in implementing a low-meat diet are more supportive of policy interventions aiming to reduce meat consumption. Multiple regression models from exploratory Study 1 (N = 220) and pre-registered Study 2 (N = 180) provide evidence that those reporting more dissatisfaction with their success in reducing meat consumption were more supportive of both government (Study 1) and institutional policy (Study 2) increasing meat prices to reduce its consumption. Exploratory analyses also revealed an interaction with meat intake, such that individuals who regularly eat meat indicated greater policy support if they were also more dissatisfied with their meat reduction success. Together, our results suggest that individuals may indeed outsource self-control to institutional or governmental regulators when they are dissatisfied with their own self-regulatory success. Follow-up work should establish the boundary conditions of these findings across behavioral domains and probe their robustness using longitudinal data.

Abstract

Recent work suggests that most individuals support policies targeting the immediate economic and physical food environment to change behavior. The present set of studies builds upon this preliminary evidence by testing the idea that people who are dissatisfied with their self-regulation success in implementing a low-meat diet are more supportive of policy interventions aiming to reduce meat consumption. Multiple regression models from exploratory Study 1 (N = 220) and pre-registered Study 2 (N = 180) provide evidence that those reporting more dissatisfaction with their success in reducing meat consumption were more supportive of both government (Study 1) and institutional policy (Study 2) increasing meat prices to reduce its consumption. Exploratory analyses also revealed an interaction with meat intake, such that individuals who regularly eat meat indicated greater policy support if they were also more dissatisfied with their meat reduction success. Together, our results suggest that individuals may indeed outsource self-control to institutional or governmental regulators when they are dissatisfied with their own self-regulatory success. Follow-up work should establish the boundary conditions of these findings across behavioral domains and probe their robustness using longitudinal data.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Applied Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Applied Psychology, Social Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 February 2023
Deposited On:16 Jan 2023 13:47
Last Modified:29 May 2024 01:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0272-4944
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2022.101922