Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Rational and moral motives to reduce red and processed meat consumption

Abstract This study analyzed the psychosocial aspects that predict intention to reduce red/processed meat consumption, proposing an integration of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the Value‐Belief‐Norm (VBN) approaches. Participants (N = 233) filled in a self‐report online questionnaire, measuring the intention to reduce red/processed meat consumption, and both TPB (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and past behavior) and VBN (universalism, general pro‐environmental beliefs, awareness of consequences, ascription of responsibility, and personal norm) variables. Results of structural equation modeling showed the adequacy of the proposed TPB + VBN integrated model to predict consumers’ intention to reduce red/processed meat consumption. Attitude and subjective norm were the strongest predictors of intention, followed by personal norm and past behavior. Mediation analyses showed that the impact of the VBN chain (from universalism to personal norm) on intention was mediated by attitude. Thus, consumers’ intention to reduce red/processed meat consumption was associated with a rational consideration of benefits related to the behavior in question, which in turn was based on moral considerations connected to pro‐environmental motives. Discussion focuses on the opportunity to integrate the (rational) TPB approach with the (normative) VBN approach, highlighting psychosocial aspects that public policy should focus on to promote a reduction of red/processed meat consumption.

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