Strengthening Associations to Pictures vs. Words: The Case for Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption to Men

  • Author / Creator
    Evans, Sarah C
  • It is well known that fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is a protective factor against chronic health conditions; however, men tend to eat fewer fruit and vegetables than women. Since FV consumption helps prevent chronic diseases and many men do not eat enough, ways to improve the behaviour are needed. It may be that men’s implicit (i.e., automatic) and explicit associations towards healthy foods are different from women’s. Investigating methods of changing men’s associations to healthy foods will inform health campaigns on the content they should use. This study compared the effects of associative learning using picture stimuli (Picture-AL) or word stimuli (Word-AL) on automatic associations between apples and snackbars and healthy and unhealthy attributes in 120 men recruited at the University of Alberta campus. Automatic associations were measured by two versions of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). One version used picture-stimuli (Picture-IAT) and the other used word stimuli (Word-IAT). The stimuli used in the Picture-AL and Word-AL matched the stimuli in the Picture-IAT and Word-IAT respectively. The target and attribute categories were ‘apple+healthy’ and ‘snackbar+unhealthy’. The moderating effects of healthy-eating schema, changes in explicit associations and the relationship between the associations and actual snack choice between apples and snackbars were also examined. Results showed AL using picture or word stimuli had no differential effects on automatic associations to pictures or words; however, the strength of associations between pictures were moderated by self-schema. Findings were inconclusive on whether the associations to pictures or words are more predictive of food choice behaviour. The implications are discussed in terms of the Reflective- Impulsive Model and the meaning for health campaigns targeting FV consumption in men.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.