Time for Natural (08-28-20)

Scott, Rozin, and Small investigated when people prefer natural products; their findings may be useful to people making materials recommendations, etc.  The team learned that “natural products are more strongly preferred when used to prevent a problem than when used to cure a problem. . . . this organizing principle explains variation in the preference for natural across distinct product categories (e.g., food vs. medicine), within product categories (e.g., between different types of medicines), and for the same product depending on how it is used (to prevent or to cure ailments). . . . Specifically (a) consumers hold lay beliefs that natural products are safer and less potent and (b) consumers care more about safety and less about potency when preventing as compared to when curing, which leads to a stronger preference for natural when preventing. Consistent with this explanation, when natural products are described asmorerisky and more potent, reversing the standard inferences about naturalness, then natural products become more preferred for curing than for preventing.”

Sydney Scott, Paul Rozin, and Deborah Small.  “Consumers Prefer ‘Natural’ More for Preventatives Than for Curatives.”  Journal of Consumer Research, in press, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucaa034