SCOM’s Dr. Rachel Bailey Awarded $20,000 CRC Grant

School of Communicaton associate professor Dr. Rachel Bailey recently received a $20,000 Summer Research Support award from the Council on Research and Creativity (CRC) for her project “Utilizing Competing Biological Motivations: Can We Decrease People’s Disgust Response to Lab Grown Meat?”

This project will test if it’s possible to change consumer acceptance of lab grown meat with different image cues such as images that emphasize either naturalness or lab creation. This research is particularly relevant as concerns about how meat consumption affects both individual health and the environment intensify. Bailey discusses in this project that many scientists believe that lab grown meat could be used to alleviate some of these problems. One current issue is that many consumers are currently unlikely to try lab grown meat because of their perceptions of it. This is what Dr. Bailey will be examining closer in this study. Dr. Bailey explained, saying, “Because lab grown meat is intuitively violating the essential characteristics and origins of what humans understand to be food, utilizing opposing biological level appeals and cues may be particularly useful in altering those perceptions. This project would be one of the first to try to achieve this.” More specifically, the project has three main goals:

Goal 1: “to determine if natural meat cues and cooked meat cues can decrease disgust and improve attitudes and consumer acceptance of lab grown meat”

Goal 2: “to determine if natural and cooked meat cues affect those limiting meat consumption (e.g., flexitarian) differently than those not limiting meat consumption”

Goal 3: “to determine if physical/core and moral disgust mediate the relationship between cues and consumer acceptance differently for those limiting meat consumption and those not limiting”

The project will now soon move on to the data collection phase where Dr. Bailey will work with doctoral candidate Pooja Ichplani and doctoral student Yu Liang as well as UF researchers Dr. Jay Hmielowski and Dr. Myiah Hutchens.