Are Consumers as Constrained as Hens are Confined? Brain Activations and Behavioral Choices after Informational Influence

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2015-01-01
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Francisco, Alex
Bruce, Amanda
Crespi, John
Lusk, Jayson
McFadden, Brandon
Bruce, Jared
Aupperle, Robin
Lim, Seung-Lark
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Crespi, John
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Economics
Abstract

In 2008, California passed Proposition 2, specifying confinement space for certain farm animals. Proposition 2 went into full effect January 2015 and has significant implications for egg production in California and possibly even interstate commerce. We examined the influence of promotional videos aired during the campaign on consumers’ willingness-to-pay for eggs produced in a more open production system (i.e., cage-free, free range) and corresponding neurofunctional activations during decisions. Forty-six participants (24 females), aged 18–55 years (M=29.65), were enrolled and performed a food decision-making task during fMRI scanning. In each decision, two options of identical one dozen cartons of eggs were presented simultaneously. Below each option were two attributes, describing price and production method. Cage free and free-range eggs were more expensive, at varying degrees. Participants were randomized to one of three 30-second video groups: pro-Proposition 2, anti-Proposition 2, and a Neutral flowing stream. Based on a whole brain analysis, participants in the pro-Proposition 2 video group (N=16) demonstrated significantly greater activations post-video compared to pre-video in left insular cortex and right occipital cortex. This change in insula activity may be indicative of increased social risk involved with the purchase of closed production method eggs, driving participants to increase their percentage of decisions to purchase the higher priced, open-method eggs. It is possible that the insula activation indicates that consumers are constrained to choosing the eggs produced under open-cage production methods, after viewing advertisements advocating for Proposition 2.

Comments

This article is published as Francisco, A., A.S. Bruce, J.M. Crespi, J.L. Lusk, B.R. McFadden, J. Bruce, R.L. Aupperle and S-L. Lim. “Are Consumers as Constrained as Hens are Confined? Brain Activations and Behavioral Choices after Informational Influence.” Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization 13(2015):113-119. DOI: 10.1515/jafio-2015-0022. Posted with permission.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2015
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