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Snacking typically occurs as an automatic, consciously uncontrolled process which can lead to unintended health consequences. Grounded cognition informs about the multifaceted drivers of such automatic consumption processes. By integrating situation-, stimulus-, and person-specific factors, this study provides a holistic account of snacking.Design/methodology/approachA combined psychophysiological and behavioral experiment is conducted wherein participants can casually snack chocolate while participating in a survey setting. Implicit cognitions are assessed with the Implicit Association Test. The percentage of consumed chocolate serves as dependent variable in a Tobit regression with predictors at situation, stimulus and person level.FindingsChocolate snacking is positively influenced by personal craving tendencies, implicit food associations and situational contingency. We condense the results into an overarching framework in line with grounded cognition literature.Practical implicationsThe multidimensional framework can guide consumer protection efforts to reduce excessive snacking habits based on situation, stimulus and person.Originality/valueThis study integrates theory from social cognition, consumer research, and behavioral food research and, thereby, extends the existing body of knowledge on grounded cognitions underlying snacking consumption.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 27, 2021
Keywords: Implicit attitudes; Snacking; Casual consumption; Grounded cognition; Habitual behavior
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