The Food Scarcity Heuristic: People Overestimate the Caloric Content of Scarce Foods

Julio Sevilla, University of Georgia USA
Anthony Salerno, University of Cincinnati USA
Across three studies, we show that framing a food as scarce leads people to overestimate the number of calories it contains. This effect occurs because when exposed to a food perceived as scarce, participants feel deprived of resources, which leads them to overestimate the caloric content of the food.
[ to cite ]:
Julio Sevilla and Anthony Salerno (2017) ,"The Food Scarcity Heuristic: People Overestimate the Caloric Content of Scarce Foods", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 45, eds. Ayelet Gneezy, Vladas Griskevicius, and Patti Williams, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 253-257.