Matthew B. Ruby's research while affiliated with La Trobe University and other places

Publications (40)

Article
Full-text available
Background The present study aimed to investigate how often and to what degree older adults living in an area of Gujarat, Western India, enact traditional and modern eating behaviors. Specifically, we aimed to determine which facets of traditional eating are enacted rarely and which facets of modern eating are enacted often. Moreover, we hypothesiz...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Howell, T.J.; Nieforth, L.; Thomas-Pino, C.; Samet, L.; Agbonika, S.; Cuevas-Pavincich, F.; Fry, N.E.; Hill, K.; Jegatheesan, B.; Kakinuma, M.; et al. Defining Terms
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of people are concerned about eating meat, despite enjoying doing so. In the present research, we examined whether the desire to resolve this ambivalence about eating meat leads to a reduction in meat consumption. Our model of ambivalence-motivated meat reduction proposes that the pervasive nature of evaluative conflict motivat...
Article
Food cultures can play a role in health and well-being. This raises the questions of whether nation boundaries unite the food cultures of different regions and ethnic groups, what characterises food cultures from very different parts of the world, and what similarities and differences exist. The present study aimed to investigate these questions wi...
Article
Full-text available
This qualitative study used social practice theory to explore how meat-eating practices are changing in contemporary urban Australia, drawing on a sample of Sydney residents aged 23–45 years. The research used an iterative study design and an inductive analysis approach. Semi-structured face-to-face in-depth interviews were the main mode of data co...
Article
Full-text available
Pledges are a popular strategy to encourage meat reduction, though experimental studies of their efficacy are lacking. Three-hundred and twenty-five participants from three different countries (UK, Germany, Australia) were randomly assigned to pledge 28 days meat-free or not, and their behavior was tracked via smartphones. Participants answered dai...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘meat paradox’ is the psychological conflict between people’s enjoyment of meat and their moral discomfort in relation to animal suffering. To date, most studies on the meat paradox have been in Western contexts where meat-eating is a cultural norm. In comparison, little is known about how the meat paradox is experienced in emerging economies s...
Article
This paper investigates consumer attitudes towards Hermetia illucens larvae (aka Black Soldier Fly Larvae; BSFL) and other insects in two forms: dried whole insects and insect flour incorporated into a familiar food. In two studies, we assessed the willingness of American adults to try eating them directly, eating animals fed on them, and feeding t...
Preprint
An increasing number of people is concerned about the ethics of eating meat despite enjoying doing so. In the present research, we examined whether the desire to resolve this ambivalence about eating meat leads to a reduction in meat consumption. Our model of ambivalence-motivated meat reduction proposes that the pervasive nature of evaluative conf...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immediate changes in the food retailing environment, particularly for countries that have “locked down” and imposed strict physical distancing measures. Consumer behavior has changed, including an initial period of panic buying, likely to be followed by further changes caused by constraints on the shopping experienc...
Article
Full-text available
The global human community is facing an increasingly urgent dilemma: How do we improve standards of living while lessening our impact on the environment? This special issue presents recent contributions from both psychological and interdisciplinary research on sustainable consumption. To situate these articles in a broader context, we first establi...
Article
Meat consumption is on the rise in India. However, most studies on meat consumption have been conducted among Western audiences and there are relatively few insights into meat consumption in emerging markets, especially India, which tends to be stereotyped as a vegetarian nation. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore meat consumption pra...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world, there has been a movement from traditional to modern eating, including a movement of traditional eating patterns from their origin culture to new cultures, and the emergence of new foods and eating behaviors. This trend toward modern eating is of particular significance because traditional eating has been related to positive healt...
Article
Full-text available
In many countries where companion dogs are popular, owners are strongly encouraged to neuter their dogs. Consequently, millions of dogs are neutered each year. In recent times considerable attention has been paid to the possible effects of such procedures on canine health and welfare. Less scrutinized are the potential ramifications of widespread n...
Article
Insects are an important human food source, especially in developing countries, because of their efficiency at converting plant foods into animal protein, and their relatively low environment impact. The present study builds on some prior research on eating insects by surveying Indian and American adults. A composite measure of insect acceptance is...
Article
Full-text available
India has one of the world’s highest proportions of plant-based consumers relative to its total population (Sawe). However, the view that India is a predominantly vegetarian nation is likely inaccurate, as recent findings from the 2014 Indian Census indicate that only three in ten Indians self-identity as vegetarian (Census of India). Other studies...
Article
It is often assumed that things that are disgusting to eat are, themselves, disgusting, and that things that are disgusting to eat are also contaminating. We present data that counters both of these assumptions. In adult American and Indian samples, Study 1 provides evidence that, in contrast to many other insects, participants have positive attitu...
Article
Welfare considerations surrounding dog (Canis familiaris) breeding practices are contentious in some sectors of the community. However, public perceptions surrounding dog breeding practices are poorly understood. The aims of this study were to describe perceptions of dog breeding and associated welfare concerns held by members of the general public...
Article
Prior results suggest that people who follow a vegetarian diet or consume meat alternatives, such as insects, might be perceived negatively. In two experimental studies, both the shopping list method and a vignette approach were used to assess underlying impressions of these consumer groups. The aim of the first study was to explore how someone wit...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional Japanese dietary culture might be a factor contributing to the high life expectancy in Japan. As little is known about what constitutes traditional and modern eating in Japan, the aims of the current study were to (1) comprehensively compile and systematize the various facets of traditional and modern eating; and (2) investigate whether...
Article
Objective Research has shown that there is a large variety of different motives underlying why people eat what they eat, which can be assessed with The Eating Motivation Survey (TEMS). The present study investigates the consistency and measurement invariance of the fifteen basic motives included in TEMS in countries with greatly differing eating en...
Article
Objective: The prevailing focus regarding eating behaviour is on restriction, concern, worry and pathology. In contrast, the purpose of the present studies was to focus on a positive relationship with eating in non-clinical samples from Germany, the USA and India. Design: In Study 1, the Positive Eating Scale (PES) was tested and validated in a lar...
Article
Given that researchers have demonstrated that different degrees of moral concern for valued entities (Biospheric, Altruistic, Egoistic) are linked with different attitudes and behaviors, the scope and degree of moral concern for any individual may have implications for how potential moral conflicts in the food system are navigated. We developed a m...
Article
Herein we present the development and validation of an assessment tool for empirically measuring the meaning of food in life (MFL), a construct which has been shown through repeated qualitative, ethnographic and quantitative analyses to exert influence over food choice but which has never before been systematically operationalized for empirical inv...
Article
Full-text available
Meat is both the most favored and most tabooed food in the world. In the developed world, there is a tension between its high nutritional density, preferred taste, and high status on the one hand, and concerns about weight, degenerative diseases, the ethics of killing animals, and the environmental cost of meat production on the other hand. The pre...
Article
One of the major, if not the major impediment to large scale increases of human insect consumption, is the strong rejection of insects as food by most of the world’s population. In an effort to understand this aversion, we surveyed online samples of adults living in the USA and India to participate in a study on ‘attitudes toward food’. A substanti...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theorizing suggests the 4Ns-that is, the belief that eating meat is natural, normal, necessary, and nice-are common rationalizations people use to defend their choice of eating meat. However, such theorizing has yet to be subjected to empirical testing. Six studies were conducted on the 4Ns. Studies 1a-1b demonstrated that the 4N classificat...
Article
Previous research has revealed differences in how people value and pursue positive affect in individualistic and collectivistic cultural contexts. Whereas Euro-Americans place greater value on high activation positive affect (HAP; e.g., excitement, enthusiasm, elation) than do Asian Americans and Hong Kong Chinese, the opposite is true for low acti...
Article
In most societies, meat is valued more highly, yet tabooed more frequently, than any other type of food. Past research suggests that people avoid eating animals they consider similar to themselves, but what specific factors influence which they eat, and which they avoid? Across an array of samples from the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, and India, perceiv...
Article
Vegetarianism, the practice of abstaining from eating meat, has a recorded history dating back to ancient Greece. Despite this, it is only in recent years that researchers have begun conducting empirical investigations of the practices and beliefs associated with vegetarianism. The present article reviews the extant literature, exploring variants o...
Article
Much research has demonstrated that people perceive consumers of "good," low-fat foods as more moral, intelligent, and attractive, and perceive consumers of "bad," high-fat foods as less intelligent, less moral, and less attractive. Little research has contrasted perceptions of omnivores and vegetarians, particularly with respect to morality and ge...
Article
To examine whether--and why--people underestimate how much they enjoy exercise. Across four studies, 279 adults predicted how much they would enjoy exercising, or reported their actual feelings after exercising. Main outcome measures were predicted and actual enjoyment ratings of exercise routines, as well as intention to exercise. Participants sig...
Article
Humans are a cultural species, constantly navigating a complex web of culturally bound practices, norms, and worldviews. This article provides a brief overview of the relatively young field of cultural psychology, which investigates the many ways psychology and culture interweave with one another. Highlighting the cultural nature of the human speci...

Citations

... For example, North Americans are generally more concerned about diet than the French (especially about health and appearance); however, the French have a healthier diet than North Americans (8,33,57,58). On the other hand, in a recent cross-cultural study, Sproesser et al. (59) analyze 10 countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and the USA) with regard to traditional and modern eating, and in contrast to past studies (33,60,61), attitudes to food or potion sizes when it comes to what constitutes traditional and modern eating, USA and France, now appears similar. Additionally, Sproesser et al. (59) also describe that in countries with huge extension (such as Brazil and USA) probably there might be heterogeneity not only in terms of different regions but also with regard to different ethnic groups within one country. ...
... An ideal study design to test the effect of reduced meat intake on meat disgust would randomly assign participants to conditions in which they have to either avoid meat consumption or not. At the time of data collection, we assumed that this would be very hard to recruit for (other than with large participant payments) and even harder to affirm that any reductions in meat intake had actually taken place [although recent research has achieved this via the use of daily smartphone surveys (35)]. Instead, we propose that the annual health challenge of "Veganuary" (www.veganuary.com) ...
... Aversive states can also result from making unsustainable consumption decisions, including guilt, self-resentment (Carrington et al., 2015), blame, and culpability (Fahlquist, 2009). To avoid or cope with such aversive states, consumers involuntarily morally distance themselves from the source of the discomfort (e.g., animal suffering caused by eating meat; Khara et al., 2021;Rothgerber, 2020) or ignore sustainable information during the evaluation of alternatives and activate their willfully ignorant memory (Reczek et al., 2018). In the presence of emotionally difficult ethical information (such as the use of child labor), consumers prefer "to feel good by preventing emotionally difficult experiences" (Reczek et al., 2018, p. 186); they forget or misremember negative ethical information, thereby magnifying their conflicting values. ...
... Since the early 1990s, which marked the beginning of globalisation in India, traditional eating practices have been changing (Majumdar, 2010;Sinha, 2011) and religious and caste-based influences appear to be breaking down (Staples, 2016). Rising levels of urbanisation (Ali, Kapoor, & Moorthy, 2010) and exposure to new global practices (Khara & Ruby, 2019) are changing Indian consumption practices. Sinha (2011, pp. ...
... Another important barrier that must be overcome to massify the use of insects in pet food is the acceptance of these products by cat and dog owners, which is strongly influenced by the culture of each country. Western people are recognized as the most reluctant to feed their pets with insect-based foods [122]. To make real estimates of production and economic and environmental sustainability there needs to be more research concerning the industrial production facilities of edible insects in the future. ...
... Given that consumers engaging in motivated ignorance are generally more ambivalent toward eating animal products (Berndsen & Van Der Pligt, 2004;Onwezen & van der Weele, 2016) and negative about conventional meat production systems (Hartmann & Siegrist, 2019), they may be more willing to substitute meat with alternative proteins (e.g. Quorn, tofu, seitan, soy schnitzel) (Hartmann & Siegrist, 2019) and eat a more plant-based diet after effortful information seeking if the harms related to animal-based diets can no longer be ignored (Pauer et al., 2020;. ...
... The global pandemic of COVID-19 brought major changes in consumers' buying behavior (Martin-Neuninger & Ruby, 2020). At the beginning of the pandemic and during the second wave of the pandemic, due to the disrupted supply chain and unusual consumer behavior such as fear of purchase and surged demand for essential food items in the supermarkets caused the selves to empty Hobbs, 2020). ...
... Those focus mainly on the influence of internal factors and are aimed at explaining individual's motivation (Ajzen's, 1991;Kallbekken et al., 2010). However, group level and more systemic approaches are also available to social psychology (Ruby et al., 2020). Here the collective processes prove important for research as they are at the heart of many of the phenomena tied to global environmental crises and potential solution approaches (Barth et al., 2021). ...
... However, within India's younger generation, the stigma and taboos surrounding meat consumption are slowly being displaced due to increased awareness about quality proteins, nutrient requirements and overall health benefits (Kumar & Anand, 2016). Current findings demonstrate that meat is frequently associated in India with evolving consumer behavior due to generation gap in attitudes (Khara, Riedy, & Ruby, 2020;Mathur, Peacock, Robinson, & Gardner, 2021). Though women are primarily involved in cooking of meat and meat products in India, majority of respondents (61.18%) did not prefer going to butcher shop and purchase meat (Table 2). ...
... In line with this, a recent overview paper suggested that traditional and modern eating behavior goes beyond the consumption of certain nutrients or food groups. Specifically, Sproesser et al. (2019) compiled 106 behaviors that were regarded to be part of traditional and modern eating behavior in previous literature or in expert discussions, combining international and interdisciplinary perspectives. Importantly, what constitutes traditional and modern eating was considered to be subject to human evaluation, as it is often impossible to determine from actual measures how much change or what absolute level then and now is necessary to classify a behavior as traditional or modern. ...