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

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Abstract

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..

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