Limits...
Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products.

Enax L, Krapp V, Piehl A, Weber B - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates.Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products.The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing future interventions that aim at positively influencing food choice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Epileptology, University Hospital Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Department of NeuroCognition/Imaging, Life and Brain Center Bonn, Germany ; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted-objectively identical-chocolates, presented either as "FT" or as "conventionally produced". In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing future interventions that aim at positively influencing food choice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Illustration of the trial setup. The fMRI task consisted of 80 trials. Participants saw 40 different products twice, once labeled with a Fair Trade emblem, once without a label. The product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product in Euro (€). They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4561672&req=5

Figure 1: Illustration of the trial setup. The fMRI task consisted of 80 trials. Participants saw 40 different products twice, once labeled with a Fair Trade emblem, once without a label. The product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product in Euro (€). They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects.

Mentions: Participants started with a short practice session on a computer to familiarize themselves with the task. In this practice session, subjects had to enter four given prices correctly and then had to bid on four products as in the following fMRI task. The fMRI experiment consisted of 80 trials, see Figure 1 for an overview. At the beginning of each trial, a product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product. They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects. Subjects received €25 endowment for participation, which they could use for purchasing products. The Becker-DeGroot-Marschak auction was used as a widely-used model for market transactions in the laboratory in order to measure individual preferences and the exact WTP from each subject for every product (Becker et al., 1964; Plassmann et al., 2007). Three products were randomly chosen for implementation in the auction (see detailed procedure in Enax et al., 2015).


Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products.

Enax L, Krapp V, Piehl A, Weber B - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Illustration of the trial setup. The fMRI task consisted of 80 trials. Participants saw 40 different products twice, once labeled with a Fair Trade emblem, once without a label. The product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product in Euro (€). They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4561672&req=5

Figure 1: Illustration of the trial setup. The fMRI task consisted of 80 trials. Participants saw 40 different products twice, once labeled with a Fair Trade emblem, once without a label. The product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product in Euro (€). They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects.
Mentions: Participants started with a short practice session on a computer to familiarize themselves with the task. In this practice session, subjects had to enter four given prices correctly and then had to bid on four products as in the following fMRI task. The fMRI experiment consisted of 80 trials, see Figure 1 for an overview. At the beginning of each trial, a product was displayed for 4 s, followed by a fixation (3–5 s). Then, subjects were prompted to enter the amount of money they were willing to pay for the presented product. They could enter the price with a precision of five cent using four buttons (1 = +50 cent, 2 = −10 cent, 3 = +5 cent, 4 = confirm the bid). The price was updated after each button press. The duration for entering the WTP was dependent on the subjects' individual speed. Afterwards, a fixation cross was shown (5–7 s). The order of the buttons was counterbalanced across subjects. Subjects received €25 endowment for participation, which they could use for purchasing products. The Becker-DeGroot-Marschak auction was used as a widely-used model for market transactions in the laboratory in order to measure individual preferences and the exact WTP from each subject for every product (Becker et al., 1964; Plassmann et al., 2007). Three products were randomly chosen for implementation in the auction (see detailed procedure in Enax et al., 2015).

Bottom Line: We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates.Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products.The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing future interventions that aim at positively influencing food choice.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Epileptology, University Hospital Bonn Bonn, Germany ; Department of NeuroCognition/Imaging, Life and Brain Center Bonn, Germany ; Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted-objectively identical-chocolates, presented either as "FT" or as "conventionally produced". In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing future interventions that aim at positively influencing food choice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus