Food risk perceptions, gender, and individual differences in avoidance and approach motivation, intuitive and analytic thinking styles, and anxiety

Sointu Leikas, Marjaana Lindeman, Katariina Roininen, Liisa Lähteenmäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Risks appear to be perceived in two different ways, affectively and rationally. Finnish adult internet users were contacted via e-mail and asked to fill an internet questionnaire consisting of questions of food risks and measures of avoidance and approach motivation, analytic and intuitive information processing style, trait anxiety, and gender in order to find out (1) whether food risks are perceived two-dimensionally, (2) how individual differences in motivation, information processing, and anxiety are associated with the different dimensions of food risk perceptions, and (3) whether gender moderates these associations. The data were analyzed by factor, correlation and regression analyses. Three factors emerged: risk scariness, risk likelihood, and risks of cardiovascular disease. Personality and gender×personality interactions predicted food risk perceptions. Results showed that food risk perceptions generally form two dimensions; scariness and likelihood, but that this may depend on the nature of the risk. In addition, results imply that individuals with high avoidance motivation perceive food risks as scarier and more likely than others, and that individuals with an analytic information processing style perceive food risks as less likely than others. Trait anxiety seems to be associated with higher food risk perceptions only among men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-240
JournalAppetite
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Food risk
  • Risk perception
  • Personality
  • Information processing
  • Motivation
  • Gender differences

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