Ambivalence towards meat

Mariëtte Berndsen, Joop van der Pligt
Appetite 2004, 42 (1): 71-8
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether differences in ambivalence between meat eaters affect their attitude towards eating meat, the belief structure underlying these attitudes, meat consumption, and intentions to reduce consumption in the future. Not surprisingly, more ambivalent meat eaters held a less positive attitude towards meat as compared to less ambivalent meat eaters. Moreover, the belief structure of the two groups also differed: More ambivalent persons associated the consumption of meat with slightly negative feelings, morally unacceptable issues, and risks for both their health and the environment. In contrast, less ambivalent meat eaters reported positive affective beliefs, did not emphasize moral issues, and perceived less risk. Results highlight the role of affective beliefs as a predictor of both attitude and ambivalence. Ambivalence, in turn, was a predictor of actual meat consumption; i.e. increased ambivalence was related to reduced meat consumption. Moreover, more ambivalent meat eaters intended to further reduce their meat consumption in the future. Practical and theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

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