Research team


Barbara Briers is Professor of Marketing at the University of Antwerp, and affiliated Professor at Ghent University. She holds a PhD in Marketing from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Leuven and was previously on the faculty at HEC Paris (2006-2009), Tilburg University (2009-2015 tenured), and Vlerick Business School (2015-2021). She teaches Market Research, Consumer Behavior, and Behavioral Economics. Barbara’ s research focuses on social marketing, persuasion and influence, food consumption, and wealth inequality. Her work has been published, among others, in the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Psychological Science. She serves as a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Consumer Psychology and International Journal of Research in Marketing.

The Unhealthy Tasty Intuition: Nature or Nurture. 01/08/2023 - 31/07/2027


Previous research has shown that the belief that taste and healthiness in food are negatively correlated, that is, the unhealthy = Tasty Intuition (UTI), increases consumers' chances of being overweight. The question emerges how the UTI lay-belief develops and to what extent this is a matter of nature or nurture. Lay-beliefs about food and, in particular, the UTI have been of interest to consumer researchers before, but the nature-nurture question has not been addressed. We contribute to the literature on lay-beliefs about food by showing its developmental onset in a nature-nurture context, ranging from children's biological predispositions about food (project 1), to children's early-life home environment (project 2), to broader socio-cultural changes (project 3). We thus adopt a "biopsychosocial" approach. Questions about how lay-beliefs about food develop are important to a wide range of stakeholders: parents, educators, public policy officials, consumer researchers, ... It sheds light on children's biological predispositions about food and how they become socialized as consumers in contemporary society and the marketplace. Our research aims to get a more comprehensive view of the origins of a belief system about food that can last a lifetime. Understanding better when and how the UTI belief develops, is likely to bring about further research that can test the efficacy of novel health interventions to bend this belief system early on in childhood.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project