We investigate why the aggregate effect of calorie posting on calorie consumption can be insignificant by decomposing the learning effect into two conflicting components: a calorie-decreasing effect of learning that one was underestimating caloric content (LUE), and a calorie-increasing effect of learning that one was overestimating caloric content (LOE). Our lab snack-order experiments demonstrate the existence of the LUE effect (−8.3%) and the LOE effect (+4.8%), where the aggregate learning effect is −5.8%. Our results also imply that the LUE can be cancelled out by a positive saliency effect, while the undesirable saliency effect may be mitigated by combining the calorie posting with information about daily calorie needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law