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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Bug Appétit: Manipulating the emotional response to entomophagy

Published: May 25, 2021


Pernille Videbaek, Department of Management, Aarhus University; Klaus Grunert, Aarhus University, MAPP Centre, Department of Management


Insects has been considered as an alternative protein source, as we in Western societies consume meat in quantities well above what is healthy and what is sustainable to produce. Since edible insects have been met with resistance by the consumers, much recent research has looked into ways of overcoming the disgust response. This paper uses cognitive appraisal theory in a new approach to manipulate the often negative emotional response to entomophagy. Two studies explore the topic both using online vignette experiments. Study 1 examines the possibility of manipulating the emotional script to entomophagy, whereas study 2 examines the manipulation of the emotional response of the consumers. Study 1 finds that it is possible to manipulate the emotional script, showing that consumers are not locked in a disgust response to edible insects. Study 2, however, fails to completely replicate the findings. These studies are a starting point for further research in this area.