Is there a relationship between implicit motives and eating action types: An exploratory study in Germany

Lyn Lampmann, Agnes Emberger-Klein, Klaus Menrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Investigating unconscious human behaviours is a complex issue, given that people have hardly access to their unconscious. Food-related behaviour is one of these behaviours in which the unconscious plays a central role. Therefore, the connection of the unconscious and food-related behaviour is difficult to comprehend. Hence, our exploratory study deals with the relationship between implicit motives as an important part of the unconscious and their relationship with food-related behaviour. For this purpose, we used the Operant Multi-Motive Test (OMT), which offers information about implicit motives of individuals. Based on 37 qualitative problem-centred interviews conducted in Bavaria, Germany, we identified seven eating action types that we combined with the results derived from the OMT. These deliver profound insights into how people eat due to their identity. The approach of this study is explorative and provides a first insight into a possible relationship between implicit motives and food-related behaviour that are presented descriptively. Our initial results show that a relationship between implicit motives and food-related behaviour can be assumed, although it cannot be directly deduced from the sole analysis of food-related behaviour. However, nutrition consultancies, food companies, policy makers and advisors may be interested in these insights related to understanding the impact of the unconscious on food-related behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-780
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • eating action types
  • implicit motives
  • operant multi-motive test
  • qualitative interviews
  • the unconscious

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