Alternative alcohol warning labels were studied with a method used in magical-thinking research. In two studies (N = 111, N = 75), subjects completed a questionnaire. A 'poison,' 'toxic' or 'causes cancer' label on a beer can was shown to have substantial effects on self-reported choice behavior. In contrast, the alcohol warning label now mandated to appear on alcohol containers did not have nearly as powerful an effect. Explanations for the lack of strong effects of the mandated warning label center around label length, type of warning and salience of the warning. The methodology described in this article appears to test gut-level or conditioned responses to labels, which may be a valuable technique for evaluating warning labels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)