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Explorations in Digital Nudging for Online Food Choices

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Abstract

People increasingly seek for inspiration and make food choices using online recipe sites. Since the most popular recipes are often not the healthiest ones, the goal of our research is to nudge users towards healthier choices. Existing literature shows that digital nudging can be effective in this domain, but it often remains open if the observed effects are due to the specific way the nudge is implemented. In our research in progress, we examine the effectiveness of different nudges through user studies (N=225). Our results indicate that (a) not all types of popular nudges like setting defaults are necessarily effective, (b) that a hybrid nudge that in addition leverages social information is effective across food categories and (c) that considering ingredient information when nudging is promising to influence user decisions. Our results imply that various implementation alternatives should be explored to maximize the effects of digital nudging.

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... Third, we investigate the effects of a hybrid digital nudging concept (DNC) combining social norms and anchoring cues. Unlike Ingendahl et al. [22] as well as Jesse & Jannach [23] who investigated a combination of default and social norms cues, this is a novel investigation into the effects of two DNCs that have not yet been jointly investigated. By deliberately assessing two diverse DNCs, namely one that has been proven to be rather effective (i.e., anchoring [24,25]) and one that is presumed to be less influential (i.e., social norms [16,26]) in a low-involvement context, we opt to improve the understanding of interaction effects across different DNCs in this domain. ...
... Zimmerman & Renaud investigated a range of nudges containing social norms, feedback and informative nudge elements as well as a combination of nudges (i.e., "hybrid nudge") in a cybersecurity context, finding hybrid cues more effective than single cues [40]. Concerning e-grocery in particular, Ingendahl et al. as well as Jesse & Jannach investigated the effects of combining social norms and default cues, proving hybrid nudges to be highly effective compared to single nudges [22,23]. By investigating a hybrid nudge containing social norms and anchoring cues, we opt to expand the knowledge-base on combinatory digital nudging effects for DNCs that have not yet been jointly investigated. ...
... Therefore, our study is limited to the individual design peculiarities of our digital nudging cues. Also, we cannot rule out that salience effects did influence the individual effectiveness of the DNEs [23]. Furthermore, we chose to exclusively investigate low-involvement grocery products in this study to decrease the effects of branding affinity. ...
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