Can we increase people's intention to eat more plant-based using dynamic norms with a reference to working together?
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Introduction: The current study built on previous research on whether dynamic norms increase the intention to eat more plant-based. Moreover, it was examined if working together normative appeals increased the effectiveness of dynamic norms, and if this was mediated by psychological resistance and feelings of working together. Method: Dutch adults (N = 238) aged 19-75 years completed an online experiment. Two experimental (dynamic norm + working together and dynamic norm only) and two control (static norm and no-norm) conditions were compared on effectiveness in changing intention. Each condition provided participants with different social norm information about plant-based consumption in the Netherlands, based on a pilot study (N = 41). Results: Emphasizing the dynamic norm did not result in higher intentions to eat more plantbased, and a reference to working together did not increase the effect of the dynamic norm. Exploratory analyses indicated that there were no differences between conditions in their estimates of current plant-based consumption. There was also no difference between the conditions when only people that gave a correct static norm estimate of 30-40% were included. Feelings of working together did significantly relate to intention. Discussion: The non-significant findings could be explained by the heterogeneity of the sample or limitations of the study. Future research is needed to explore if and when dynamic norms and working together normative appeals work in the context of eating more plantbased. Additionally, interventions to enhance feelings of working together should be further explored.