University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

It’s not queasy being green: The role of disgust in willingness-to-pay for more sustainable product alternatives

Powell, Philip A., Jones, Christopher R. and Consedine, Nathan S. (2019) It’s not queasy being green: The role of disgust in willingness-to-pay for more sustainable product alternatives Food Quality and Preference, 78. pp. 1-11.

[img] Text
YF Manuscript Author Accepted Version.docx - Accepted version Manuscript

Download (1MB)


Scholars differ in the extent to which they regard the “yuck factor” as an important predictor of sustainable consumption decisions. In the present decision experiment we tested whether people’s disgust traits predicted relative willingness-to-pay (WTP) for sustainable product alternatives, including atypically-shaped fruit and vegetables; insect-based food products; and medicines/drinks with reclaimed ingredients from sewage. In a community sample of 510 participants (255 women), using path analyses we examined the extent to which effects of disgust traits on WTP were mediated by cognitive appraisals of perceived taste, health risk, naturalness, visual appeal, and nutritional/medicinal value. Further, we assessed whether these effects were moderated by the tendency to regulate disgust using reappraisal and suppression techniques. Across all product categories, when controlling for important covariates such as pro-environmental attitudes, we found a significant negative effect of trait disgust propensity on WTP. In total, a 1 SD increase in participants’ disgust propensity scores predicted between 6% and 11% decrease in WTP. Appraisals of perceived naturalness, taste, health risk, and visual appeal significantly mediated these effects, differing in importance across the product categories, and explaining approximately half of the total effect of disgust propensity on WTP. Little-to-no support was found for moderation of effects by trait reappraisal or suppression. Individual differences in disgust are likely to be a barrier for certain viable sustainable alternatives to prototypical products. Marketing interventions targeting consumer appraisals, including in particular the perceived naturalness and taste, of these kinds of products may be effective.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Powell, Philip A.
Jones, Christopher
Consedine, Nathan S.
Date : December 2019
DOI : 10.1016/j.foodqual.2019.103737
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords : Consumer decisions; Consumer emotion; Disgust; Path analysis; Pro-environmental products; Willingness to pay
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 23 Jul 2019 09:24
Last Modified : 10 Jul 2020 02:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800