Graduation Year: 2015
Research Topic: Effect of social identity salience on healthy eating intentions and behaviour
Supervisor: Prof John de Wit
Kasia was an external PhD candidate with CSRH and was co-supervised by Professor Marie Johnston of the University of Aberdeen.
Description: Self-categorisation theory and the identity-based motivation perspective suggest that people’s motivation to engage in a particular behaviour is stronger when that behaviour is congruent with their salient social identity. In situations where a certain social identity is made salient, or where people identify strongly with a particular group, the social norm associated with that group may have a strong effect on individual behaviour. This perspective can be used to enhance the understanding of health-related intentions and behaviour. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the usefulness of adding concepts related to social identity to existing social cognitive models of healthy eating. The prediction being made is that members of groups that value healthy eating might be more likely to engage in healthy eating when their membership in that particular group is made salient. Five experimental studies tested the effect of social identity salience and group identification on healthy eating intentions and behaviour. Both intentions and behaviour were measured in each of the five studies, to allow for investigating the existence and potential causes of the intention-behaviour gap for healthy eating.