The self-categorization theory, in conjunction with the identity based motivation model of health behaviors, states that individuals will conform to behaviors that they believe to be typical of their in-group, especially when an individual is made more cognizant of their in-group identity. We primed individuals with cues related to their cultural identity to examine how they would respond to a nutritional health prompt. A study was designed in which subjects of varying cultural groups were exposed to either a positive, negative, or neutral primer. Each group then completed: a food label interpretation test, a food and consumer "me/not me" behavior survey, and a Positive and Negative Affect Survey (PANAS). We expect that individuals in the negative stimuli group will display a more unfavorable valuation of nutrition information and health related behaviors when compared to individuals who receive a neutral or positive cultural stimuli. We attribute this difference in identity-infused behavior to a congruency in general health perception with the [positive or negative] context in which the identity was made salient. Furthermore, we believe this difference in motive will be induced by feelings of stress (or lack thereof) under the protocol of the study. It is predicted that the favorability of the resulting data from the study will be congruent with context of the [positive/negative/neutral] conditions of each group.
Dr. David Sharp
Race relations and perceived stereotype threat is a growing topic in the sciences. The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between environmental pressures related to cultural identity and nutrition and other health behaviors. We aim to show how culture may affect how people behave as it relates to nutrition, and how well they can interpret standard nutrition labels and other information that they encounter every day under positive and negative cultural stimuli.