Date of Award

2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Qi Ge

Abstract

This paper examines the complex relationship between the subjective FDA-regulated word "healthy" and its effect on consumers moral balancing and licensing habits. I create a survey to test the ability of the word "healthy" to balance or license future decisions. The results indicate that if the word "healthy" is on a package, regardless of nutritional quality, consumers use "healthy" to license unhealthy activities the next time period they are faced with a decision in the moral sphere of health. However, the balancing effect is lost after two time periods. The findings suggest that balancing and licensing patterns may depend on habit and tastes and preferences.

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