Exploring the modelling of food preferences on social media in Singaporean young adults
Yeo, Caresse Ting Ya
Date of Issue2016-04-12
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Previous studies have found the presence of modelling of food intake. However, there are mixed findings about the modelling of food preferences. Moreover, few studies have examined the modelling effect on social media. As social media may influence one's food preferences, and that Singaporean young adults are active users of social media (Hashmeta, 2015), the main objective of this study was to determine if food preferences are affected by modelling on social media in Singaporean young adults. Additionally, as individuals are more likely to adjust their preferences to friends' standards (Tu & Fishbach, 2015), it was hypothesised that friends would have a stronger influence on one's food preferences than strangers. The food preferences were measured in various manifestations – implicit and explicit attitudes, choices and the actual choosing behaviour. Participants were 71 students (27 men, mean age = 20.82 years) from Nanyang Technological University. The person posting the food photos (friend or stranger) and the type of food photos viewed (healthy or unhealthy) were manipulated. Findings from the study suggested that only modelling of explicit attitudes towards healthy and unhealthy food in young adults on social media was present. Findings also showed that friends had stronger influence than strangers for food preferences but not food choices. Overall, findings suggested that the health organisations can make use of social media to influence and change young adults' mindsets towards healthy food, and promote healthy eating behaviour.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University