Propelling pride to promote healthy food choices among entity and incremental theorists

Julia Storch*, Jing Wan*, Koert van Ittersum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Past research suggests that people's beliefs about the malleability of their body weight influence their motivation to engage in healthful behaviors: people who perceive their body weight as fixed (entity theorists) engage less in healthful behaviors than people who perceive their body weight as changeable (incremental theorists). Accordingly, current health interventions frequently aim at shifting entity theorists' beliefs about the malleability of their body weight. Instead of trying to change these beliefs, we test whether the elicitation of pride from past achievements can serve as an intervention to promote healthful behaviors among entity theorists. In addition, we contrast the effect of pride recall among entity theorists with the effect among incremental theorists. Specifically, we find that entity theorists chose healthier behaviors upon the recall of pride related and unrelated to the health domain - the source of pride does not seem to matter. For incremental theorists, however, the source of pride does matter. While health-related pride led them to persist in making healthy food choices, health-unrelated pride instilled reward-seeking behavior among incremental theorists. Prompting health-related pride might be a viable motivational tool to promote healthy food choices, as it is beneficial for entity theorists without thwarting the motivation of incremental theorists.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104841
Number of pages12
JournalAppetite
Volume155
Early online date17-Aug-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020

Keywords

  • Health
  • Pride
  • Implicit theories
  • Food choices
  • Intervention
  • Obesity
  • IMPLICIT THEORIES
  • SELF-REGULATION
  • POSITIVE EMOTIONS
  • BODY
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • EFFICACY
  • BELIEFS
  • JUSTIFICATION
  • ATTRIBUTIONS
  • INFORMATION

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