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Concept: Consumer theory

220

How much do our choices represent stable inner preferences versus social conformity? We examine conformity and consistency in sartorial choices surrounding a common life event of new norm exposure: relocation. A large-scale dataset of individual purchases of women’s shoes (16,236 transactions) across five years and 2,007 women reveals a balance of conformity and consistency, moderated by changes in location socioeconomic status. Women conform to new local norms (i.e., average heel size) when moving to relatively higher status locations, but mostly ignore new local norms when moving to relatively lower status locations. In short, at periods of transition, it is the fashion norms of the rich that trickle down to consumers. These analyses provide the first naturalistic large-scale demonstration of the tension between psychological conformity and consistency, with real decisions in a highly visible context.

Concepts: Socioeconomic status, Sociology, Choice, Preference, Social status, Consumer theory, Conformity

116

In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.

Concepts: Psychology, Cognition, Cognitive science, Mind, Idea, Thought, Preference, Consumer theory

35

End-of-life care policy has a focus on enabling patients to die in their preferred place; this is believed for most to be home. This review assesses patient preferences for place of death examining: the extent of unreported preferences, the importance of patient factors (place of care and health diagnosis) and who reports preferences.

Concepts: Health care provider, Medicine, Death, Physician, Illness, United Kingdom, Motivation, Consumer theory

27

Abstract Purpose: Social service programmes that offer consumer choices are intended to guide service efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, little is known about how social service consumers actually make choices and how providers deliver such services. This article details the practical implementation of consumer choice in a Canadian workers' compensation vocational retraining programme. Method: Discourse analysis was conducted of in-depth interviews and focus groups with 71 injured workers and service providers, who discussed their direct experience of a vocational retraining system. Data also included procedural, policy and administrative documents. Results: Consumer choice included workers being offered choices about some service aspects, but not being able to exercise meaningful discretion. Programme cost objectives and restrictive rules and bureaucracy skewed the guidance provided to workers by service providers. If workers did not make the “right” choices, then the service providers were required to make choices for them. This upset workers and created tension for service providers. Conclusions: The ideal of consumer choice in a social service programme was difficult to enact, both for workers and service providers. Processes to increase quality of guidance to social service consumers and to create a systematic feedback look between system designers and consumers are recommended. Implications for Rehabilitation Consumer choice is an increasingly popular concept in social service systems. Vocational case managers can have their own administrative needs and tensions, which do not always align with the client’s choices. Rehabilitation programmes need to have processes for considering what choices are important to clients and the resources to support them.

Concepts: Sociology, Philosophy of life, Preference, Business, Consumer theory, Service system

27

With the purpose of achieving a deeper knowledge of one of the most important seafood markets in Europe, a survey into the seafood consumption preferences and patterns in the Portuguese population was carried out. A thorough, comprehensive, and simple questionnaire was developed. Consumers were asked to state their preferences towards fish products, their consumption frequencies, the average meal portion, and the usual culinary treatments. Respondents provided personal data: gender, age, geographical location, education level, weight, height, and health condition. This paper presents the first part of the study’s results, focusing mainly on the gender and regional variables. Portuguese consumers prefer wild to cultured fish as well as fat to lean fish. Chilled fish is preferred over frozen, salted/dried, canned, and smoked fish, being the latter the least preferred. Soaked cod, hake, and canned tuna are the most eaten seafood products. Men prefer to a greater extent wild and smoked fish. Men consume more cephalopods and sardine and women eat more frequently hake, pink cusk-eel, and redfish. Coastal populations prefer wild fish. Algarve (southern Portugal) consumers exhibit a stronger tendency to wild and whole fish and consume more sardine and sole. Madeira archipelago consumers are particularly fond of black scabbard fish.

Concepts: Fish, Portugal, Madeira, Preference, Seafood, Portuguese people, Consumer theory, Black scabbardfish

26

Little is known about the effect of serving temperature on saltiness perception in food products such as soups that are typically consumed at high temperature. This study focused on determining whether serving temperature modulates saltiness perception in soup-base products. Eight trained panelists and 62 untrained consumers were asked to rate saltiness intensities in salt water, chicken broth, and miso soup, with serving temperatures of 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 °C. Neither trained nor untrained panelists were able to find significant difference in the saltiness intensity among salt water samples served at these five different temperatures. However, untrained consumers (but not trained panelists) rated chicken broth and miso soup to be significantly saltier when served at 70 and/or 80 °C compared to when served at 40 to 60 °C. There was an interaction between temperature-related perceived saltiness and preference; for example, consumers who preferred soups served at lower temperatures found soups served at higher temperatures to be less salty. Consumers who frequently consumed hot dishes rated soup samples served at 60 °C as saltier than consumers who consumed hot dishes less frequently. This study demonstrates that soup serving temperature and consumer dietary habits are influential factors affecting saltiness perception of soup.

Concepts: Harshad number, Consumer theory, Soup, Broth, Chicken soup, Soups, Miso soup, Dashi

26

The influence of advertising on children’s food preferences is well documented in the research literature. In this study we aim to examine the ways in which food advertising propels children’s consumer behaviour and to investigate how food advertising affects the frequency of unhealthy food consumption.

Concepts: Nutrition, Food, Consumer theory

22

Efforts to reduce unnecessary Cesarean sections (CS) in high and middle income countries have focused on changing hospital cultures and policies, care provider attitudes and behaviors, and increasing women’s knowledge about the benefits of vaginal birth. These strategies have been largely ineffective. Despite evidence that women have well-developed preferences for mode of delivery prior to conceiving their first child, few studies and no interventions have targeted the next generation of maternity care consumers. The objectives of the study were to identify how many women prefer Cesarean section in a hypothetical healthy pregnancy, why they prefer CS and whether women report knowledge gaps about pregnancy and childbirth that can inform educational interventions.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Health, Obstetrics, Caesarean section, Breech birth, Consumer theory, Ventouse

19

Television consumption influences perceptions of attractive female body size. However, cross-cultural research examining media influence on body ideals is typically confounded by differences in the availability of reliable and diverse foodstuffs. 112 participants were recruited from 3 Nicaraguan villages that differed in television consumption and nutritional status, such that the contribution of both factors could be revealed. Participants completed a female figure preference task, reported their television consumption, and responded to several measures assessing nutritional status. Communities with higher television consumption and/or higher nutritional status preferred thinner female bodies than communities with lower television consumption and/or lower nutritional status. Bayesian mixed models estimated the plausible range of effects for television consumption, nutritional status, and other relevant variables on individual preferences. The model explained all meaningful differences between our low-nutrition villages, and television consumption, after sex, was the most likely of these predictors to contribute to variation in preferences (probability mass >95% when modelling only variables with zero-order associations with preferences, but only 90% when modelling all possible predictors). In contrast, we found no likely link with nutritional status. We thus found evidence that where media access and nutritional status are confounded, media is the more likely predictor of body ideals.

Concepts: Human body, Revealed preference, Preference, Utility, Female body shape, Consumer theory, Mass media, Marshall McLuhan

19

For many patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), preferences for end-of-life care are unknown, and clinicians and substitute decision-makers are required to make decisions about the goals of care on their behalf. We conducted a systematic review to determine the effect of structured communication tools for end-of-life decision-making, compared to usual care, upon the number of documented goals of care discussions, documented code status, and decisions to withdraw life-sustaining treatments, in adult patients admitted to the ICU.

Concepts: Medicine, Meta-analysis, Consumer theory