Linearize This! Why Consumers Underestimate Food Portion Changes and How to Help Them

Pierre Chandon, INSEAD, France
Nailya Ordabayeva, INSEAD, France
Past research showed that larger packages and portions lead to overeating because consumers grossly underestimate size change. We show that this happens because people add instead of multiplying the changes in each of the three dimensions. Hence, a linearization of the estimation object (by decreasing the dimensionality of size change from 3D to 2D to 1D) and a linearization of the estimation process (by asking people to estimate each dimension) improve the accuracy of size estimations and nudge consumers towards healthier food choices.
[ to cite ]:
Pierre Chandon and Nailya Ordabayeva (2010) ,"Linearize This! Why Consumers Underestimate Food Portion Changes and How to Help Them", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 73-76 .