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Enhancing assessment of social representations by comparing groups with different cultural and demographic characteristics: A case study on pulses

Abstract : Culture plays an important role in the construction of social representations about food, influencing choices such as when, where, with whom, and how much to eat. Even within Europe, differences in the consumption of pulses may be observed between neighboring countries, such as France and Spain. Moreover, literature suggests different attitudes towards pulses according to the level of education. The first aim of this study was to carry out an exploratory comparison of the social representations of pulses for French and Spanish consumers, in relation to their level of education. Another goal was to improve social representation assessment through a free word association task focusing on pulses. Methodological improvements to the structural approach were therefore proposed, combining order of citation with frequency and importance, with adapted cut-off points. The polarity index was modified, and the impact of analyzing words (raw data) or word categories was assessed. The main results from the study highlighted that, for both words and categories, there is a common core in the social representations of pulses of the two groups of participants compared, related to five dimensions: health, pulses, nutrition, preparation, and sensory aspects. The study also identified a difference in focus between the two countries: French consumers focused on other foods; Spanish consumers focused on appropriateness and context. Overall, in both France and Spain, participants had a positive attitude towards pulses. The methodological changes proposed in the present study facilitate the comparison of results across different groups of participants. This research project provides valuable insights for researchers and policymakers seeking to understand the impact of culture on consumer food choices.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03144340
Contributor : Sabine Julien <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 3:15:51 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 4:22:05 PM

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Juliana Melendrez-Ruiz, Anna Claret, Stephanie Chambaron, Gaëlle Arvisenet, Luis Guerrero. Enhancing assessment of social representations by comparing groups with different cultural and demographic characteristics: A case study on pulses. Food Quality and Preference, Elsevier, 2021, 92, pp.104188. ⟨10.1016/j.foodqual.2021.104188⟩. ⟨hal-03144340⟩

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