Implicit attitudes and explicit cognitions jointly predict a reduced red meat intake: A three-wave longitudinal study

Carolin Muschalik*, Rik Crutzen, Math J. J. M. Candel, Iman Elfeddali, Hein De Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Despite nutritional benefits, a high consumption of red meat is not without risks as it is linked to the development of certain types of cancer as well as to other non-communicable diseases, such as type II diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the production of meat has negative effects on the environment. Therefore, a transition to a less meat-based diet could be beneficial. It is unclear how explicit cognitions towards red meat consumption and implicit attitudes jointly influence intention and consumption. We tested the additive pattern (both types of cognitions explain unique variance) and interactive pattern (both types interact in the prediction).

At baseline (T0; N = 1790) and one (T1; n = 980) and three months thereafter (T2; n = 556), explicit cognitions, red meat consumption, and implicit attitudes were assessed among a Dutch sample.

Only explicit cognitions were associated with red meat consumption. Implicit attitudes moderated the effect of self-efficacy on T0-RMC; negative implicit attitudes strengthened this effect. T0-intention was associated with explicit cognitions and implicit attitudes. Additionally, negative implicit attitudes strengthened the effect of social norms on T0 and T2-intention. Regarding red meat consumption, support for the interactive pattern was found. For intention there was support for the interactive and additive pattern.

Interventions aiming to reduce red meat consumption in the general public might profit from changing implicit attitudes in addition to explicit cognitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-95
JournalHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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