Effects of physical cleansing on subsequent unhealthy eating
Marketing Letters Volume 29, Issue 2, 1 June 2018, Pages 165-176   Kim, J.(a), Kim, J.-E.(b), Park, J.(c) a Department of Marketing, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland, 1142, New Zealand b Department of Marketing, Business School, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand c Korea University Business School, Korea University, 1 Anam-Dong, Sungbuk-Gu, Seoul, South Korea Abstract Over five experiments, we demonstrate that physical cleansing (e.g., handwashing) can reduce consumers’ unhealthy eating in subsequent unrelated contexts, by decreasing their choice of vice food (e.g., chocolate cake) versus virtue food (e.g., fruit salad) and their preferred amount vice food for consumption. This effect generalizes over different food stimuli and different operationalizations of physical cleansing (i.e., actual cleansing, visualized cleansing, and vicarious cleansing). Further, an analogous effect occurs for consumers’ unethical choice in a non-food domain, thus increasing the generalizability of the cleansing effect. Finally, one potential mechanism of the effect based on the metaphorical associations between physical cleanliness and moral purity and between vice food and immoral consumption is suggested. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Keywords emerging markets; familiarity bias; financial crisis; home bias; international diversification
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