PEER NETWORKING AND SOCIAL NORMS DESIGN: IMPLICATIONS FOR FOOD SAFETY MEDIA AND BEHAVIORAL CHANGE

Project Details

Description

This integrated food safety research, education, and Extension project will provide food safety education to help youth adopt and engage in behaviors that prevent foodborne illness. Project objectives are to: 1) Use research findings on food safety needs, attitudes, and interests of middle school students, create a series of 'video snacks' that use social norms design and Theory of Reason Action to change food safety behaviors of middle school youth. Video snacks are short animated videos or mini-games that focus on a single topic (e.g., hand washing, water bottle sharing) using an approach designed to shift social norms. They are intended for distribution through peer social networks. 2) Conduct formative evaluation of video snacks throughout development. 3) Conduct process and controlled summative evaluation studies to document the effect of the video snacks disseminated through peer networks using viral marketing techniques on middle schoolers' food safety attitudes, perceived social norms, and behaviors. Viral marketing is the distribution of messages by the audience of interest to their pre-existing social networks. That is, an individual exposed to an engaging message shares the message with his or her social network who, in turn, share it with their social networks, and so on creating a snowball effect. 4) Prepare tools for disseminating video snacks to additional social networks (e.g., MySpace, 4-H clubs, scout troops, summer camps) and professionals (e.g., science teachers, family and consumer sciences teachers, Extension agents). 5) Develop recommendations for educational and behavioral objectives for additional social network materials based on research findings.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/1/086/30/12

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))

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