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How the construal of power impacts healthy food preference: the mediating role of self-discipline perception

Hongyan Jiang (School of Economics and Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Yudi Sun (School of Economics and Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Chen Li (School of Economics and Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Mengmeng Xu (School of Economics and Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 6 December 2022

51

Abstract

Purpose

With the improvement of consumers' health consciousness, healthy food has attracted great attention in daily consumption. Previous research into the sense of power often distinguishes it into high and low level, ignoring the impact of different construal of power on consumption behaviors. This article divides power into dual construal (responsibility vs opportunity) and aims to examine the differential impacts of the construal of power on healthy food preference.

Design/methodology/approach

Two pretests and three formal experiments were conducted to examine the effect of the construal of power on the consumer's healthy food preference, the mediation of self-discipline perception and the moderation of the relative strength of prevention over promotion focus (i.e. RSPPF).

Findings

Results indicate that individuals who construe power as responsibility (vs opportunity) exhibit higher self-discipline perception, which in turn leads to greater healthy food preference. However, the main effect above can be weakened among the low-power group. Moreover, the above mediating effect of self-discipline perception is stronger for individuals with higher RSPPF.

Originality/value

First, based on the binary-construal perspective, this study refines the classification of high power and introduces it into the antecedent research of healthy food preference. Second, this paper reveals the self-discipline perception as the inner mechanism underlying the effect of the construal of power on healthy food preference, while RSPPF as the boundary condition for this mediating mechanism. Moreover, this research also provides practical implications for healthy food enterprises that the construal of power, self-discipline perception and regulatory focus should be taken into consideration in advertising design and healthy product promotion.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 72072172, 71672187, 71832015), Social Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. 20GLB005) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2021ZDPYYQ006). All four authors contributed equally to this work.

Citation

Jiang, H., Sun, Y., Li, C. and Xu, M. (2022), "How the construal of power impacts healthy food preference: the mediating role of self-discipline perception", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-04-2022-0290

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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