Trigger Foods: The Influence of â€œIrrelevantâ€ Alternatives in School Lunchrooms
Rational choice theory commonly assumes that the presence of unselected choices cannot impact which among the remaining choices is selectedâ€”-often referred to as â€œindependence of irrelevant alternatives.â€ We show that such seemingly irrelevant alternatives influence choice in a school lunch setting. In these lunchrooms, we provide evidence that the presence of specific side dishes-â€”trigger foods-â€”can strongly increase the sales of unhealthy Ã la carte options, even when the trigger foods are not selected. This behavioral anomaly can be exploited to lead children to healthier choices. We also offer a method that can be used to identify such foods.
Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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