Food shopping under risk and uncertainty

Dickins, Thomas E. ORCID: and Schalz, Sabrina (2020) Food shopping under risk and uncertainty. Learning and Motivation, 72 , 101681. pp. 1-9. ISSN 0023-9690 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.lmot.2020.101681)

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During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic panic buying of food was reported by the media. Panic buying has received little attention within behavioural science. In this paper we suggest that optimality models of foraging under risk and uncertainty would be a fruitful place to begin developing useful and testable hypotheses about this behaviour. In making this case we relate panic buying to a general increase in foraging effort, which we characterize as an increase in purchasing and spending. We note two risks during the pandemic – that of food security and that of predation, where predation is understood as a perceived threat to life due to infection risk. Food security was effectively solved early on in the pandemic, whilst perceived threat to life has remained but diminished to some limited extent. We relate panic buying to food caching as a method of buffering risk and make six predictions about how this behaviour should present under food insecurity and perceived threat to life.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Behavioural Biology group
Item ID: 31008
Notes on copyright: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
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Depositing User: Tom Dickins
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2020 07:50
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 16:16

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