Food Safety Risk and Visual Attention: The Moderating Effect of Prototype Perception and Social Distance

Wagner Junior Ladeira, Weng Marc Lim, Rafael Teixeira, Tareq Rasul, Fernando De Oliveira Santini, Vinicius Antonio Machado Nardi, Debdutta Choudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the relationship between food safety risk perception (FSRP) and social similarity, utilizing eye-tracking to uncover how consumers process information on food labels. Central to our inquiry is that perceived similarity influences how individuals assess and react to food safety risks. Our research posits that individuals who see a high degree of similarity with others in their social circles are more attentive to food safety risks. We conducted two food label experiments, one focusing on safety labels and the other on nutritional information. Findings indicate that heightened perceptions of social similarity (prototype perception and social distance) enhance the impact of food labels (safety labels and nutritional information) on food safety risk assessments (decision-making process and product choice), manifesting in increased visual attention to these labels. This revelation underscores the significance of social factors in shaping food safety behaviors and offers a new perspective for designing more effective food safety communication. Our work contributes to the academic discourse on food safety and social psychology and provides practical insights for public health messaging strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Food Products Marketing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jun 2024


  • Eye-Tracking
  • Food Safety
  • Risk Perception
  • Prototype Perception
  • Social Similarity


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