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Loss Aversion and Regulatory Focus Effects in the Absence of Numbers: Qualitatively Framing Equivalent Messages on Food Labels
Unformatted Document Text:  QUALITATIVELY FRAMING EQUIVALENT MESSAGES ON FOOD LABELS Independent Variables To test the persuasive effects of qualitatively framed nonloss and gain messages, a virtual setting was designed to mimic a common food product comparison scenario in which subjects were presented with a value-added chicken product with advertising claims about environmental impact and animal welfare (referred to later as production claims) and a chicken product without these claims. The advertising claims were chosen based on researcher observations of 33 production claims regarding the environment or animal welfare on meat and chicken products at six different grocery store companies (two chain superstores, two chain supermarkets, two local stores). The claims were pre-tested with 66 college students (that were not part of the sample included in the experiment) via a survey to determine which ones strongly suggested a gain or nonloss. Respondents were asked to evaluate each claim as to whether they thought it suggested avoidance of a negative outcome/impact or achieving a positive outcome/impact. Based on this survey and a Chi-square analysis of the data, the environmental gain-framed claim chosen was “Good for the environment,” and the nonloss-framed claim chosen was “No negative environmental impacts.” These two claims are qualitatively equivalent in that a product produced in a way that does not have negative environmental impacts is good for the environment. In the same line of logic, a product produced in a way that is good for the environment does not have negative environmental impacts. The animal welfare gain-framed claim chosen was “No cages,” and the nonloss-framed claim chosen was “Free to roam.” These two claims are qualitatively equivalent in that animals raised in a production system with no cages would be free to roam, and animals free to roam are not in cages. It is important to note broilers (chickens raised for

Authors: Abrams, Katie.
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QUALITATIVELY  FRAMING  EQUIVALENT  MESSAGES  ON  FOOD  LABELS
Independent Variables
To test the persuasive effects of qualitatively framed nonloss and gain messages, a virtual 
setting was designed to mimic a common food product comparison scenario in which subjects 
were presented with a value-added chicken product with advertising claims about environmental 
impact and animal welfare (referred to later as production claims) and a chicken product without 
these claims. The advertising claims were chosen based on researcher observations of 33 
production claims regarding the environment or animal welfare on meat and chicken products at 
six different grocery store companies (two chain superstores, two chain supermarkets, two local 
stores). 
The claims were pre-tested with 66 college students (that were not part of the sample 
included in the experiment) via a survey to determine which ones strongly suggested a gain or 
nonloss. Respondents were asked to evaluate each claim as to whether they thought it suggested 
avoidance of a negative outcome/impact or achieving a positive outcome/impact. Based on this 
survey and a Chi-square analysis of the data, the environmental gain-framed claim chosen was 
“Good for the environment,” and the nonloss-framed claim chosen was “No negative 
environmental impacts.” These two claims are qualitatively equivalent in that a product produced 
in a way that does not have negative environmental impacts is good for the environment. In the 
same line of logic, a product produced in a way that is good for the environment does not have 
negative environmental impacts. The animal welfare gain-framed claim chosen was “No cages,” 
and the nonloss-framed claim chosen was “Free to roam.” These two claims are qualitatively 
equivalent in that animals raised in a production system with no cages would be free to roam, 
and animals free to roam are not in cages. It is important to note broilers (chickens raised for 


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