Individuals' Personality and Consumption of Local Food Specialties

Geir Wæhler Gustavsen, Atle Wehn Hegnes


In studies of consumption of local food specialties individuals' personality are rarely included. In this article we want to expand and give nuances to the understanding of what characterizes these consumers and ask: Are there any common personality traits, or personal characteristics of these consumers?
We make use of the Big Five personality model to unpack the relation between individual's personality and choices of local food specialties. This model consists of the following five personal traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness to Experience. These personality traits are hidden but through questions regarding behavior the traits may be retrieved. In order to construct latent variables to represent measures of these traits, we apply Item Response Theory (IRT). Socioeconomic variables are combined with personality traits in logistic regression models to find the connection between personality and choice of Norwegian local food specialties.
The results show that in all models the latent variable Openness to Experience is a significant predictor for choice of local food specialties. This personality trait was one of the most important predictors in all the choices made by the individuals. Openness to Experience is characterized by fantasy, aesthetic sensitivity, attentiveness to inner feelings, preference for variety, and intellectual curiosity.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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