Testing the effects of humane education: Pilot research for a randomized controlled trial
We awarded pilot funding to Katie Cantrell (Factory Farming Awareness Coalition), Christoph Weis (Factory Farming Awareness Coalition), and Tamara Pfeiler (Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz) for this project. The purpose of this research is to conduct pilot research for a humane education randomized controlled trial.
- Arbour, R., Signal, T., & Taylor, N. (2009). Teaching kindness: The promise of humane education. Society and Animals, 17, 136-148.
- Animal Charity Evaluators (2014). Humane education. Retrieved from https://animalcharityevaluators.org/research/interventions/humane-education/
Testing self-persuasion as a technique for reducing meat consumption
We awarded funding to Dr. Jared Piazza (Lancaster University), Dr. Steve Loughnan (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Melanie Joy (Beyond Carnism) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test a novel approach for persuading omnivores to reconsider their beliefs about meat consumption, known as self-persuasion. This approach entails providing people an opportunity to challenge their own reasons for consuming meat, rather than attempting to persuade them in a direct or coercive manner.
- Aronson, E. (1999). The power of self-persuasion. American Psychologist, 54, 875-884.
- Piazza, J., Ruby, M. B., Loughnan, S., Luong, M., Kulik, J., Watkins, H. M., & Seigerman, M. (2015). Rationalizing meat consumption: The 4Ns. Appetite, 91, 114–128.
Estimating demand for cultured meat
We awarded funding to Dr. Eva Vivalt (Australian National University) and Bobbie Macdonald (Stanford University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to estimate how much people are willing to pay for cultured meat, and test whether alternative framings influence their willingness-to-pay.
- Hart Research Associates (2017). Perceptions of cellular agriculture: Key findings from qualitative research. Retrieved from http://www.new-harvest.org/focus_groups.
- Verbeke, W., Sans, P., & Van Loo, E. J. (2015). Challenges and prospects for consumer acceptance of cultured meat. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 14, 285-294.
Meet your meat: Using virtual and real contact to reduce meat consumption
We awarded funding to Dr. Steve Loughnan (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Jared Piazza (Lancaster University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test the effects of virtual and real contact with farmed animals.
- Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65-85.
- Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008). How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta‐analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 922-934.
Which animal advocacy messages are most effective? Pilot research for a contest-based research design using experience sampling
We awarded pilot funding to Bobbie Macdonald (Stanford University, Animal Welfare Action Lab), Krystal Caldwell (Animal Welfare Action Lab), and Brian Kateman (Reducetarian Foundation) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test a large number of animal advocacy messages against one another in the form of a messaging contest using an experience sampling method.
- Lai, C. K., Marini, M., Lehr, S. A., Cerruti, C., Shin, J. L., Joy-Gaba, J. A., & Nosek, B. A. (2014). A comparative investigation of 17 interventions to reduce implicit racial preferences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 1765-1785.
- Shiffman, S., Stone, A. A., & Hufford, M. R. (2008). Ecological momentary assessment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 1-32.
“Infighting” in the vegan community: Examining and overcoming a barrier to successful veganism and/or collective action
We awarded funding to Dr. Cara MacInnis (University Calgary) and Dr. Gordon Hodson (Brock University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to examine how different members of the animal advocacy movement view each other, and test whether past experiences of infighting or conflict predict current involvement and future involvement intentions.
- Hornsey, M. J., & Jetten, J. (2003). Not being what you claim to be: Impostors as sources of group threat. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 639–657.
- Marques, J. M., Yzerbyt, V. Y., & Leyens, J. P. (1988). The black sheep effect: Extremity of judgments towards ingroup members as a function of group identification. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18, 1-16.
Individualized outreach study
We awarded funding to Zachary Groff (Independent Researcher) and Wayne Hsiung (Direct Action Everywhere) for this project. Eva Vivalt (Australian National University) is an academic partner on the project. The purpose of this research is to test the effect of personalizing calls to action on activist participation in protests and self-reported attitudes and behaviors.
- Broockman, D., & Kalla, J. (2016). Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing. Science, 352, 220-224.
- Han, H. (2016). The organizational roots of political activism: Field experiments on creating a relational context. American Political Science Review, 110, 296-307.
How do we reduce meat consumption? Understanding the motivational dynamics of behaviour change in the moral domain
We awarded funding to Dr. Brock Bastian (University of Melbourne), Jesse Marks (Animals Australia), and Mark Pershin (Less Meat Less Heat) for this project. The purpose of this research is to investigate avenues through which to overcome self-protection motives when confronting meat eaters with messages aimed at reducing consumption.
- Bastian, B., & Loughnan, S. (2016). Resolving the meat-paradox: A motivational account of morally troublesome behavior and its maintenance. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 21, 1-22.
- Bastian, B., Loughnan, S., Haslam, N., & Radke, H. R. (2012). Don’t mind meat? The denial of mind to animals used for human consumption. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 247-256.
How do conventional and confrontational animal advocacy campaigns influence personal and political mobilization?
We awarded funding to Dr. Emma Thomas (Flinders University), Dr. Winnifred Louis (University of Queensland), Dr. Catherine Amiot (Université du Québec à Montréal), Dr. Pascal Molenberghs (Monash University), Dr. Monique Crane (Macquarie University), and Dr. Jean Decety (University of Chicago) for this project. The purpose of this research is to explore the interplay between combinations of more conventional and confrontational forms of animal advocacy.
- Thomas, E. F., & Louis, W. R. (2014). When will collective action be effective? Violent and non-violent protests differentially influence perceptions of legitimacy and efficacy among sympathizers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 263-276.
- Simon, B., & Klandermans, B. (2001). Politicized collective identity: A social psychological analysis. American Psychologist, 56, 319.
The price of moral values: Motivated beliefs, selective search, and food consumption
We awarded funding to Dr. Joshua Tasoff (Claremont Graduate University), Dr. Emiliano Huet-Vaughn (Middlebury College), and Dr. Eva Vivalt (Australian National University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to measure people’s avoidance of factory farm messaging, and how this aversion relates to a person’s persuadability.
- Andersen, S., Harrison, G. W., Lau, M. I., & Rutström, E. E. (2006). Elicitation using multiple price list formats. Experimental Economics, 9, 383-405.
- Rabin, M. (1994). Cognitive dissonance and social change. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 23, 177-194.
Nudging for good: An experimental analysis of moral aversion to the consumption of animal products
We awarded funding to Dr. Lisa Kramer (University of Toronto) and Dr. Nicola Lacetera (University of Toronto) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test the effects of different animal advocacy message framings on attitudinal and behavioral outcomes.
- Arno, A., & Thomas, S. (2016). The efficacy of nudge theory strategies in influencing adult dietary behavior: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. BMC Public Health, 16, 676-687.
- Roth, A. E. (2007). Repugnance as a constraint on markets. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21, 37‐ 58.
Improving consumer attitudes towards cultured meat
We awarded funding to Noah Castelo (Columbia University) for this project. The project will identify the most effective messaging for improving consumer attitudes towards cultured meat and will test that messaging in applied settings.
- Bekker, G. A., Fischer, A. R. H., Tobi, H., & van Trijp, H. C. M. (2017). Explicit and implicit attitude toward an emerging food technology: The case of cultured meat. Appetite, 108, 245–254.
- Verbeke, W., Marcu, A., Rutsaert, P., Gaspar, R., Seibt, B., Fletcher, D., & Barnett, J. (2015). “Would you eat cultured meat?”: Consumers’ reactions and attitude formation in Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Meat Science, 102, 49–58.
Investigating interventions to help mitigate naturalness’ role as a major barrier to clean meat acceptance in the U.S.
We awarded funding to Dr. Jo Anderson (Faunalytics), Che Green (Faunalytics), Chris Bryant (University of Bath), Kris Gasteratos (Cellular Agriculture Academic Society/Florida Atlantic University), Jamie Macfarlane (Good Food Institute/Stanford University), and Jeff Rotman (Western University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test different messages that address concerns about the unnaturalness of clean meat.
- Hart Research Associates (2017). Perceptions of cellular agriculture: Key findings from qualitative research. Retrieved from http://www.new-harvest.org/focus_groups.
- Siegrist, M., & Sütterlin, B. (2017). Importance of perceived naturalness for acceptance of food additives and cultured meat. Appetite, 113, 320-326.
Examining the effects of moral blame in campaigns promoting veganism
We awarded funding to Dr. Michal Reifen Tagar (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), Deborah Shulman (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), and Mor Schnitzer (Anonymous for Animal Rights and Challenge 22+) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test the efficacy of persuasion attempts that emphasize—either directly or implicitly—the moral blame and personal responsibility of non-vegans for the suffering of animals.
- Barkan, R., Ayal, S., & Ariely, D. (2015). Ethical dissonance, justifications, and moral behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology, 6, 157-161.
- Loughnan, S., Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2014). The psychology of eating animals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 104-108.
Increasing the effectiveness of social media for animal advocates: A replication of Mercy For Animals’ Facebook post analysis
We awarded funding to Mercy For Animals for this project. The purpose of this research is to determine which characteristics of social media posts are associated with the highest number of impressions, to maximize the number of people reached with pro-veg content online. This study is a replication of an analysis conducted by Mercy For Animals in June 2015 and will also expand the analysis to other countries, including Brazil and India.
- Mercy For Animals. (2015). How to dominate Facebook. Retrieved from: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/dominate-facebook.
Developing a targeted approach to animal advocacy campaigns
We awarded funding to Drs. Chris Hopwood & Wiebke Bleidorn (University of California, Davis) for this project. The purpose of this research is to develop a model of individual and group differences in motives for vegetarianism so that animal advocacy groups can tailor campaigns and maximize their impact on groups and individuals with different motives for plant-based diets.
- Ruby, M. B. (2012). Vegetarianism. A blossoming field of study. Appetite, 58: 141–150.
- Loughnan, S., Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2014). The psychology of eating animals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23: 104–108.
Examining the harm caused by crop cultivation to vertebrate wild animals in the United States
We awarded funding to Persis Eskander (Wild-Animal Suffering Research) for this project. This research will examine the agricultural practices that harm vertebrate wild animals. These activities are divided into the following categories: population control: baiting, fumigation and trapping; and cultivation: tillage, sowing, and harvesting.
- Davis, S.L. (2003). The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16: 387–394.
- Matheny, G. (2003). Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism from Steven Davis’s Omnivorous Proposal. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16: 505–511.
- Tomasik, B. (2017). “Crop Cultivation and Wild Animals.” Essays on Reducing Suffering.
Pledging a meat-free month: An experience sampling study with smartphones
We awarded funding to Dr. Jared Piazza (Lancaster University), Dr. David Ellis (Lancaster University), Dr. Matthew Ruby (La Trobe University), and Dr. Tamara Pfeiler (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz). This project will look at the effectiveness of meat-free pledges and the consequences of eating meat free for a period on people’s beliefs and practices.
- Harari, G. M., Lane, N. D., Wang, R., Crosier, B. S., Campbell, A. T., & Gosling, S. D. (2016). Using smartphones to collect behavioural data in psychological science: Opportunities, practical considerations, and challenges. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 11(6): 838–854.
- Leenaert, T. (2016). “Why Veganuary is a great campaign.” The Vegan Strategist.
30-Day Cohort Study: An In-Depth Investigation into the Barriers and Challenges of Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet in Latin America
We awarded funding to Steven Rouk (Mercy for Animals) for this work. The purpose of this research is to identify the main barriers and challenges (in real time) that individuals face during the first month of their transition to a veg*n diet. Through surveys and daily reports, this project will closely track 100 omnivorous individuals during their first 30 days of eating a plant-based diet.
- Navarro, J. C., Prado, S. C., Cárdenas, P. A., Santos, R. D. Caramelli, B. (2010). Pre-historic eating patterns in Latin America and protective effects of plant-based diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Clinics (Sao Paulo), 65(10): 1049–1054.
- Soong, R. (2004). “Vegetarianism in Mexico.” Zona Latina.
Awareness and food choices
This is a confidential study. Results will be made publicly available once the project is complete.
Knowing what you eat: Measuring effectiveness of educational interventions
We awarded funding to Dr. Adam Feltz (Michigan Technological University) for this study. The purpose is to estimate the relation between knowledge of animal food production and animal consumption. Pervasive educational interventions (e.g., university ethics classes) will be evaluated to determine if they change knowledge and animal consumption behaviors.
- Engel, M. “Why YOU are committed to the immorality of eating meat.” In W. Shaw (Ed.),
- Social and Personal Ethics. New York: Wadsworth, 2002. 212–221.
- Feltz, A., & Cokely, E.T. “Informing ethical decision making.” In K. Rommelfanger & L.S. Johnson (Eds.) Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Routledge, 2017. 304–318.
Advocating plant-based eating: Which messages work for whom, and why?
We awarded funding to João Graça (University of Lisbon), Cristina Godinho (Lisbon University Institute), and John Hoeks (University of Groningen) for this project. Drawing on a stage theory of behavior change and utilizing participants from three different countries in two continents, the purpose of this research is to provide evidence on which messages are most effective in promoting transition to a plant-based diet.
- Schwarzer, R. (2008). Modeling health behavior change: How to predict and modify the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 57(1): 1–29.
- Graça, J., Oliveira, A., & Calheiros, M.M. (2015). Meat, beyond the plate. Data-driven hypotheses for understanding consumer willingness to adopt a more plant-based diet. Appetite, 90: 80–90.
The impact of animal advocacy books on attitudes and behaviour
We awarded funding to Dr. Kristof Dhont (University of Kent) and Dr. Gordon Hodson (Brock University) for this project. The purpose of this research is to test the effectiveness of reading an animal advocacy book on attitudes towards animals and towards diets, as well as on consumption of animal products and meat alternatives.
- Hormes, J. M., Rozin, P., Green, M. C., & Fincher, K. (2013). Reading a book can change your mind, but only some changes last for a year: food attitude changes in readers of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Frontiers in Psychology, 4: 778.
- Humane League Labs (2014). “Diet Change and Demographic Characteristics of Vegans, Vegetarians, Semi-Vegetarians, and Omnivores.” The Humane League.