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Senior Thesis Applies Behavioral Science to Examine Food Choices

August 8th, 2018


The choices that people collectively make at dinner time — more burger, or more broccoli? — will impact the future of our warming planet. That’s because red meat consumption is widely recognized as a significant driver of a range of environmental woes, from climate change to deforestation and biodiversity loss.

But what could possibly encourage a more sustainable diet in a meat-loving country like the United States? As part of her senior thesis, Princeton student Cecilia Shang, who graduated in June, decided to test whether certain behavioral science-informed “nudges” at the dining hall might prove useful.

Shang concentrated in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and earned certificates in cognitive science and environmental studies

Shang’s experiment, conducted at the Butler/Wilson dining hall in early 2018, tested three “choice architecture manipulations” to see if they would impact the decisions students make at dinner.

Click here to read more about Shang's research.

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