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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Fixing our Reflected Failure: In-group Underachieving Promotes Healthy Consumer Decision-Making

Published: May 25, 2021


Justina Gineikiene, Vilnius University; Živil? Kaminskien?, Vilnius University; Bob Fennis, University of Groningen; Elz? Uždavinyt?, ISM; Siegfried Dewitte, KU Leuven


Prior literature has provided evidence that underachieving may increase the desire to distance from the target group’s behavior. In two experiments, we take these notions to the food consumption domain and show that underachieving promotes healthier eating behavior, mediated by negative emotions. Importantly, we show that it matters greatly who under-achieves. More specifically, the positive effect of such negative behavior is more pronounced when it is performed by members of one’s in-group (as opposed to out-group). Thus, reminding consumers of negative in-group consumption habits can nudge consumers towards healthier eating.


This project has received funding from EU Structural Funds (project No 09.3.3 LMT-K-712-01-0136 under grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT).