Peer influence in a micro-perspective: Imitation of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Addictive behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 09/2009; 35(1):49-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2009.08.002
Source: PubMed


Ample experimental research has found evidence for imitation of alcohol consumption in social encounters. However, these studies cannot reveal whether imitation is specifically related to alcohol and not to consumption in general. We investigated whether imitation is more evident when peers drink alcohol compared to other beverages. We observed sipping behavior during a 30-minute interaction between same-sex confederates and participants in an ad lib semi-naturalistic drinking context (bar lab). We expected a stronger imitation effect when both participant and confederate drank alcoholic beverages. A random occasion multilevel analysis was conducted to take repeated measurements into account. Findings showed that participants imitated the sips of the confederates, but that the likelihood of participants imitating a sip was lower when confederates were drinking alcoholic beverages and participants non-alcoholic beverages compared to when both were consuming alcohol.

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Available from: Helle Larsen, Apr 23, 2015
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    • "Content analyses show that references to and consumption of alcohol are common in TV series, including those that target young audiences (Christensen, Henriksen, and Roberts 2000; Russell, Russell, and Grube 2009). The fact that alcohol is a category highly subject to interpersonal influences and imitative behavior (Larsen et al. 2010; Morgan and Grube 1991) further accentuates the need to assess how its presence in the content of TV series impacts consumers and what the role of the IPI may be in this process. "
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    ABSTRACT: This research investigates how normative influences surrounding television (TV) series impact product placement effects. Drawing from the influence of presumed influence (IPI) model of communications research, the research assesses the impact of the presumed influence of TV series on others on young consumers' desire to buy placed alcohol brands. Three experiments show that presumed influence can increase or decrease consumers' intentions to purchase brands placed in TV series. Furthermore, this relationship is moderated by individual differences in susceptibility to normative interpersonal influence and, for individuals low in psychological trait reactance, by contextual effects that prime conformity.
    Journal of Advertising 02/2014; 43(1):46-62. DOI:10.1080/00913367.2013.810557 · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    • "December 2013 | Volume 4 | Article 949 | 1 imitated or copied by another person. For example, studies on alcohol consumption have shown that young adults might imitate the drinking behavior of peers and movie actors by taking a sip directly after the observed person had taken a sip (Larsen et al., 2010; Koordeman et al., 2011). In the domain of eating, seeing another person taking a bite or snack might trigger a similar response. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether social modeling of palatable food intake might partially be explained by the direct imitation of a peer reaching for snack food and further, assessed the role of the children's own weight status on their likelihood of imitation during the social interaction. Real-time observations during a 10-min play situation in which 68 participants (27.9% overweight) interacted with normal-weight confederates (instructed peers) were conducted. Children's imitated and non-imitated responses to the confederate's food picking movements were compared using a paired sample t-test. In addition, the pattern of likelihood of imitation was tested using multilevel proportional hazard models in a survival analysis framework. Children were more likely to eat after observing a peer reaching for snack food than without such a cue [t (67) = 5.69, P < 0.0001]. Moreover, findings suggest that children may display different imitation responses during a social interaction based on their weight status (HR = 2.6, P = 0.03, 95% CI = 1.09-6.20). Overweight children were almost twice as likely to imitate, whereas normal-weight children had a smaller chance to imitate at the end of the interaction. Further, the mean difference in the likelihood of imitation suggest that overweight children might be less likely to imitate in the beginning of the interaction than normal-weight children. The findings provide preliminary evidence that children's imitation food picking movements may partly contribute to social modeling effects on palatable food intake. That is, a peer reaching for food is likely to trigger children's snack intake. However, the influence of others on food intake is a complex process that might be explained by different theoretical perspectives.
    Frontiers in Psychology 12/2013; 4:949. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00949 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "This work proposes that environmental and social cues elicit somewhat automated, imitative responses: akin to what is referred to as " mindless eating " (Wansink & Sobal, 2007). Support for this imitative process has been found in laboratory-based studies looking at alcohol intake, where young people not only copied the quantity of alcohol consumed by confederates, but also the rate at which they drank, suggesting a somewhat unconscious, mimicked response (Larsen, Engels, Granic, & Overbeek, 2009; Larsen, Engels, Souren, Granic, & Overbeek, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents’ consumption of low-nutrient, energy-dense (LNED) food often occurs out of home, and friends may be an important source of influence. This study tested whether observed similarities in LNED food intake among friends result from social influence, and also explored underlying psychological mechanisms. Three waves of data were collected over one year from grade 8 students in Australia (N = 378, 54% male), including measures of food intake and related cognitions, and friendships to grade-mates. The results of longitudinal social network models show that adolescent intake was predicted by their friends’ intake, accounting for pre-existing similarities and other potentially confounding factors. Changes to adolescents’ beliefs about LNED food do not appear to be the mechanisms underpinning influence from their friends.
    Journal of Research on Adolescence 09/2013; 23(3). DOI:10.1111/jora.12045 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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