Does Thinking "Outside of the Box" Make People Feel "Full"?: The Influence of Consumer Creativity on Satiation for Unhealthy Foods

Project: Research

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A recent study by the Department of Health in Hong Kong shows that one in every five children in Hong Kong is classified as obese. Health literature suggests that obesity in children is often caused by addiction to junk food; that is, children may derive enjoyment from eating the same unhealthy foods over and over but do not become satiated during the process! Satiation has been an intriguing topic for marketing researchers. Existing research in satiation has mainly focused on how to reduce satiation while little attention has been paid to thepositivemechanisms of satiation. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to explore effective ways toelevate the satiation ratefor unhealthy foods. Specifically, drawing on research from heath psychology, we examinethe therapeutic effects of consumer creativityon satiation. In particular, we predict that creativity can elicit a divergent mindset that enables consumers to come up with novel ideas for consumption tasks. As a result, this type of divergent thinking may increase theheterogeneityof a consideration choice set, which will, in turn, accelerate the satiation rate for unhealthy foods.In this research, we address three research questions. First,whatis the impact of consumer creativity on satiation? Second,howdoes consumer creativity affect satiation? Third, when does creativity lead to a faster satiation rate? We will conduct a series of laboratory and field experiments to address these questions. The results obtained from this research will contribute to the literature in several ways. First, we examine an important consumer behavior topic that has received inadequate attention to date –that is, the positive mechanisms of satiation in the context of unhealthy consumption. Second, we enrich the extant satiation research by demonstrating how a situational variable, such as the consumer’s creative process, can engender changes in mindsets, which can, subsequently, affect the satiation rate for unhealthy foods. Third, as a link between creativity and satiation, this study fills a gap in consumer creativity research by understanding when and how creativity impels consumers to engage in the consumption process in particular ways—for example, how and under what conditions creativity influences the satiation rate for consuming unhealthy foods. Finally, from a managerial perspective, this research provides insights for governmental organizations, regulatory agencies, and educational organizations on how to harness the power of creativity so as to curtail the rising trend of junk food consumption among Hong Kong children and teenagers.


Project number9042005
Grant typeECS
Effective start/end date1/01/1422/03/18