At this page you find more information about doing a thesis on the topic of food intake control. Just look around at this blog to see what my research interests are. Below you find a list of projects. Of course, we can also create a project that includes both your and my research interests.
Just give me a call: 0031 317482205, send an e-mail (Ellen.vanKleef@wur.nl) or drop by in my office (room 5024, fifth floor, Leeuwenborch building).
Consumption effects of health and nutrition information at food packages
Project within the large EU-funded project Clymbol
Recently, the EU-funded project kicked off in Brussels (see blog post). This project aims to better understand how consumers interpret health and nutrition information at food labels. How does this affect consumption behaviour? More information about various sub-projects within Clymbol will follow.
Verbal prompts: a smart nudge to encourage healthier food choices
Project together with hospital De Gelderse Vallei
'Do you want to supersize your order?' is a well-known sentence that you could have heard before negative publicity (including the movie 'Supersize me') made an end to this practice. Such a verbal prompt, however, is still being used in shops and station kiosks ('Do you want something to eat with your coffee?').
This example of verbal encouragement can give consumers just that little push (nudge) to make a different choice. Consumers are likely to give in to such little pushes because they implicitly think that saying 'yes' is an appropriate response. When you ask people for an active response they are more likely respond positively than when you ask for a passive response (only respond in case of yes). This is called the 'feature-positive' effect.
This thesis project addresses the issue of whether 'as a question' strategies are effective at influencing consumers' choices in a more healthful direction. Additionally, the aim is to understand what underlying psychological mechanisms could explain its effectiveness. For example, verbal prompts may act as descriptive norms as they suggest that what is asked for is a standard option to go with a meal or dish.
This project consists of a field study in cooperation with hospital De Gelderse Vallei ('the Nutrition Hospital'). Recently, some time ago, they introduced the 'At Your Request' catering service, which offers patients the possibility to order meals and snacks at any time by phone (room service). Hence, plenty of opportunities to study how consumers respond to a verbal prompt!