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Shifting Signals to Help Health: Using Identity Signaling to Reduce Risky Health Behaviors

  • Jonah Berger
  • Lindsay Rand
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    This research examines how identity-based interventions can improve consumer health. Results of laboratory and field experiments reveal that associating risky health behaviors with a social identity people do not want to signal can contaminate the behaviors and lead consumers to make healthier choices. College freshman reported consuming less alcohol (experiment 2), and restaurant patrons selected less fattening food (experiment 3), when drinking alcohol and eating junk food were presented as markers of avoidance groups. These findings demonstrate that identity-based interventions can shift the identities associated with real-world behaviors, thereby improving the health of populations. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/587632
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (03)
    Pages: 509-518

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:35:y:2008:i:3:p:509-518
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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