Implicit Attitudes About Agricultural and Aquatic Products From Fukushima Depend on Where Consumers Reside
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Fukushima nuclear disaster
perceived vulnerability to disease
behavioral immune system
Japanese consumers are still hesitant to purchase products from Fukushima, although 7 years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and these products are officially considered safe. In this study, we examined whether Japanese consumers have negative implicit attitudes toward agricultural and aquatic products from the Fukushima region and whether these attitudes are independent of their explicit attitudes. Japanese students completed an implicit association test and a questionnaire to assess their implicit and explicit attitudes toward products from Fukushima relative to another region. The results of two experiments reliably demonstrated that the public has negative implicit attitudes toward Fukushima products, whereas their explicit attitudes are consistently positive. These observations predominantly held for participants living close to Fukushima (Tokyo) as opposed to participants living far away (Hiroshima): Experiment 1 (n = 40). Furthermore, individual differences in aversion to germs contributed to the implicit attitudes; the implicit negative attitudes were attenuated among the participants with a relatively low aversion to germs: Experiment 2 (n = 60). These results suggest that the implicit attitudes associated with the behavioral immune system, which is conceptualized as a suite of psychological mechanisms designed to proactively resist pathogenic threats, may underlie the hesitation to purchase products from Fukushima.
This study is supported by Japanese Psychological Association and Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences KAKENHI Grant Number JP17K17909 to AA.
Frontiers in Psychology
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Copyright © 2019 Tsegmed, Taoka, Qi and Ariga. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences