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I'll Have What She's Having: Effects of Social Influence and Body Type on the Food Choices of Others


  • Brent McFerran
  • Darren W. Dahl
  • Gavan J. Fitzsimons
  • Andrea C. Morales


This research examines how the body type of consumers affects the food consumption of other consumers around them. We find that consumers anchor on the quantities others around them select but that these portions are adjusted according to the body type of the other consumer. We find that people choose a larger portion following another consumer who first selects a large quantity but that this portion is significantly smaller if the other is obese than if she is thin. We also find that the adjustment is more pronounced for consumers who are low in appearance self-esteem and that it is attenuated under cognitive load. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Brent McFerran & Darren W. Dahl & Gavan J. Fitzsimons & Andrea C. Morales, 2010. "I'll Have What She's Having: Effects of Social Influence and Body Type on the Food Choices of Others," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(6), pages 915-929, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jconrs:v:36:y:2010:i:6:p:915-929
    DOI: 10.1086/644611

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    Cited by:

    1. Newton, Fiona J. & Newton, Joshua D. & Wong, Jimmy, 2017. "This is your stomach speaking: Anthropomorphized health messages reduce portion size preferences among the powerless," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 229-239.
    2. Gao, Yixing (Lisa) & Mattila, Anna S., 2017. "The impact of stereotyping on consumers' food choices," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 80-85.
    3. Vishal Narayan & Vithala R. Rao & Carolyne Saunders, 2011. "How Peer Influence Affects Attribute Preferences: A Bayesian Updating Mechanism," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 368-384, 03-04.
    4. McKennie, Caitlin & Argys, Laura M. & Friedson, Andrew I., 2018. "Is Good Health Contagious? The Impact of BMI Environment on Individual BMI," IZA Discussion Papers 11770, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:37-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Liu, Stephanie Q. & Bogicevic, Vanja & Mattila, Anna S., 2018. "Circular vs. angular servicescape: “Shaping” customer response to a fast service encounter pace," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 47-56.
    7. Martina E. Reitmeier & Jutta Roosen, 2015. "Life Transitions and Brand Switching: How Changes in Social Relationships are Linked to Changes in Yogurt Brand and Grocery Chain Choice," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 63(4), pages 475-490, December.
    8. Otterbring, Tobias & Shams, Poja, 2019. "Mirror, mirror, on the menu: Visual reminders of overweight stimulate healthier meal choices," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 177-183.
    9. Fan Alei (Aileen) & Van Hoof Hubert B. & Loyola Sandra Pesantez & Granda Marlene Jaramillo & Lituma Sebastián Calle, 2016. "The impact of other customers and gender on consumer complaint behaviour in the Ecuadorian restaurant setting," European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, Sciendo, vol. 7(1), pages 21-29, May.

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