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Are You “Nudgeable”? Factors Affecting the Acceptance of Healthy Eating Nudges in a Cafeteria Setting

  • Research has identified nudging as a promising and effective tool to improve healthy eating behavior in a cafeteria setting. However, it remains unclear who is and who is not “nudgeable” (susceptible to nudges). An important influencing factor at the individual level is nudge acceptance. While some progress has been made in determining influences on the acceptance of healthy eating nudges, research on how personal characteristics (such as the perception of social norms) affect nudge acceptance remains scarce. We conducted a survey on 1032 university students to assess the acceptance of nine different types of healthy eating nudges in a cafeteria setting with four influential factors (social norms, health-promoting collaboration, responsibility to promote healthy eating, and procrastination). These factors are likely to play a role within a university and a cafeteria setting. The present study showed that key influential factors of nudge acceptance were the perceived responsibility to promote healthy eating and health-promoting collaboration. We also identified three different student clusters with respect to nudge acceptance, demonstrating that not all nudges were accepted equally. In particular, default, salience, and priming nudges were at least moderately accepted regardless of the degree of nudgeability. Our findings provide useful policy implications for nudge development by university, cafeteria, and public health officials. Recommendations are formulated for strengthening the theoretical background of nudge acceptance and the susceptibility to nudges.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Christine Kawa, Wim H. Gijselaers, Jan F. H. Nijhuis, Patrizia M. Ianiro-Dahm
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Article Number:4107
Number of pages:20
Place of publication:Basel, Switzerland
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2022/03/30
Copyright:© 2022 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.
Keyword:acceptance; cafeteria; health intervention; healthy eating; nudge; nudgeability; susceptibility
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Open access funding:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg / Publikationsfonds / 2022 ff
Entry in this database:2022/04/01
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International