If death were food for thought, what would you choose for lunch? A terror management account of food choice decisions

Tya Jenyce Thompson, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

The current study examined food choice decisions in the context of Terror Management Theory by evaluating how 186 randomly sampled, racially diverse (62% African American, 25% Caucasian, 13% Other) undergraduates (17% male, 83% female) aged 16-68 chose healthy versus unhealthy foods at a small, Southeastern University. Death anxiety was expected to impair the ability of the participants in the experimental condition to make healthy choices by choosing foods (familiar foods vs. unfamiliar/foreign foods) that are less healthy due to their cultural worldview. Participants in the experimental condition were also expected to choose less healthy foods on the food choice task, perceiving them as more familiar and less foreign compared to participants in the control condition. There was no significant difference between the food choices made in the experimental and control conditions. However, unexpected gender differences occurred with food choices made between conditions suggesting that males and females have diverse worldviews.^ Keywords: obesity, Terror Management Theory, food choice decisions, mortality salience, cultural worldview, gender differences^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental

Recommended Citation

Thompson, Tya Jenyce, "If death were food for thought, what would you choose for lunch? A terror management account of food choice decisions" (2013). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1525853.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI1525853

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