Six studies identified a novel lay theory—whether people believe that nearly everyone (the universal belief) or only some people (the nonuniversal belief) can achieve their ideal body weight. The universal belief leads people to view price discrimination policies (e.g., health insurances overcharging overweight or underweight customers) as more fair (Studies 1–2). The underlying mechanism is that people with a more nonuniversal belief believe that individuals have limited control over their body weight, and thus attribute the responsibility for additional costs less to customers and more to organizations (Study 3). The universal belief predicts support for price discrimination only when price discrimination is based on body weight but not on other risk factors (e.g., drug usage; Study 4), and only when consumers’ weight would influence the company's costs (Study 5). The findings identify a novel lay theory and document its implications for an emerging class of policies in the marketplace.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2020|
- Body weight
- Lay theories
- Price discrimination