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Love food, hate waste? Ambivalence towards food fosters people’s willingness to waste food

  • Food waste is the origin of major social and environmental issues. In industrial societies, domestic households are the biggest contributors to this problem. But why do people waste food although they buy and value it? Answering this question is mandatory to design effective interventions against food waste. So far, however, many interventions have not been based on theoretical knowledge. Integrating food waste literature and ambivalence research, we propose that domestic food waste can be understood via the concept of ambivalence—the simultaneous presence of positive and negative associations towards the same attitude object. In support of this notion, we demonstrated in three pre-registered experiments that people experienced ambivalence towards non-perishable food products with expired best before dates. The experience of ambivalence was in turn associated with an increased willingness to waste food. However, two informational interventions aiming to prevent people from experiencing ambivalence did not work as intended (Experiment 3). We hope that the outlined conceptualization inspires theory-driven research on why and when people dispose of food and on how to design effective interventions.

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Metadaten
Author:Benjamin Buttlar, Lars Löwenstein, Marie-Sophie Geske, Heike Ahlmer, Eva Walther
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:385-1-18094
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073971
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Publisher:MDPI
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of completion:2021/04/02
Date of publication:2021/04/02
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2022/03/14
Tag:ambivalence; best before; date labeling; domestic food waste; intervention
GND Keyword:Ambivalenz; Empfindung; Haushalt; Lebensmittel; Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum; Verschwendung
Volume (for the year ...):2021
Issue / no.:Band 13, Heft 7
Number of pages:24
Institutes:Fachbereich 1 / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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