Economics and psychology of food consumptions

A.Y. 2019/2020
11
Max ECTS
88
Overall hours
SSD
AGR/01 M-PSI/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course proposes two groups of objectives developed within the two modules in which it is structured.
Economics of food consumption: knowing the main elements of economic theory for the analysis of the agri-food market, knowing how the agri-food supply chains are articulated, and knowing the policies of public intervention related to the main problems of the food system.
Psychology of food consumption: knowing the individual and symbolic factors that influence consumer actions in order to be able to predict future behavior, learn about scientific and experimental procedures aimed at studying consumer reactions to different stimuli represented by food products.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to understand and critically examine the main economic problems of the food market and develop analytical skills regarding the main instruments of public intervention, from information policies to taxation policies.
Furthermore, the student will be able to use both traditional (based on questionnaires) and innovative (eye-tracking, neuropsychophysiological surveys, analysis of the emotional expressions of the face) techniques to identify consumer reactions to food products.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is required
Assessement methods and criteria
The exam consists of a written test (with open and closed answers). The questions with closed answers aimed at ascertaining the acquired knowledge about the entire program, those with closed answers aimed at ascertaining the acquired knowledge about the additional research papers explained during class and provided on Ariel. The duration of the test is 90 minutes and the evaluation is expressed in thirtieths.
The result of the test is communicated through the Ariel platform. There are no differences of exam between attending and non-attending students.
Economia e politica alimentare
Course syllabus
First part - Analysis of the market: Demand and supply analysis
Consumption theory
Market form and differentiation strategy
Market failure

Second part - the agri-food system
economic analysis of food consumptions;
quality attributes of food products;
economic analysis of food system
recent trends in the agriculture, processing, retailing and catering sectors;
internationalisation and trade of food products;
vertical organisation of food supply chains;
economic issues of word hunger;
economic issues of obesity.

Third part - food policies
food policies and public intervention;
economic issues of nutrition labels;
economic analysis of food safety;
EU policy for food safety;
economic analysis of traceability and effects on chain organisation;
economic analysis of food sustainability and related policy.
Teaching methods
Frontal teaching is the main teaching method. Attendance at teaching is strongly recommended.
Bibliography
The slides of the teaching lessons and other references are regularly updated and are available on the Ariel platform.
Psicologia delle scelte alimentari
Course syllabus
First part - Eating behavior and social psychology.
The role of contextual factor on food choices.
The attitude-behavior link.
The Expectancy-Value model.
The theory of Planned Behavior.
Heuristics and implicit attitudes.


Second Part - Learning models and the impact of emotions on eating behavior.
Classical conditioning and derived models.
Neophobia: what factors influence our tendency to avoid novel food.
The role of emotions and mood on food choices.
Comfort food: what we like and why we like it.
The importance of reward in shaping out preferences.


Third Part - Food, communication and persuasion.
The role of advertising on children.
Analysis of the marketing strategies in the context of food and their impact on our choices.
Persuasion and eating behavior.
Using persuasion for good: introduction to food nudging.
Implementation intention: a psychological technique to change behavior.


Fourth Part - Disfunctional eating behavior.
Eating behavior during adolescence.
The role of gender and parents on food choices.
Eating disorders: analysis of the antecedents, and how to deal with patients.
Control strategies and eating behavior.
Understanding obesity from a neuroscientific perspective.
Teaching methods
Frontal teaching is the main teaching method. Attendance at teaching is strongly recommended.
Bibliography
- Shepard, R., & Raats, M. (Eds.) (2006). The psychology of food choice (Vol. 3). Cabi.
The slides of the teaching lessons and other references are regularly updated and are available on the Ariel platform.
Economia e politica alimentare
AGR/01 - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND RURAL APPRAISAL - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Psicologia delle scelte alimentari
M-PSI/01 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY - University credits: 5
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Mattavelli Simone