Public PhD Defense

Catarina Possidónio da Silva, a PhD candidate of the LiSP PhD program (Lisbon PhD in Social Psychology), is going to defend her thesis titled "Meet your meat: Psychological factors impacting on attitudes towards animals, their consumption, and plant-based alternatives". The public defense is scheduled for November 14 at 15:00 (3:00 pm) at the Iscte-IUL B203 Auditorium.


A way to address health and sustainability concerns with the current food systems is to shift away from current levels of consumption of animal-sourced products, especially meat, toward an increased intake of plant-based foods. The general aim of this work was to explore how to trigger such transitions through a set of four articles, focused on the ways people perceive: (1) animals as living beings, examining the impact of characteristics of the perceiver (e.g., gender, pet attachment) and of the target (e.g., biological category of the animals) on perceptions (e.g., edibility, moral concern); (2) animals as food products and how resemblance to the animal source impacts on appetite for meat, independently from the impact of product familiarity; (3) alternatives to meat consumption (e.g., legumes, tofu) and the impact of framing (i.e., meal vs. ingredient) as a strategy to promote more positive attitudes toward meat alternatives. Finally, the ending section of this work provides a reflection about the existent gaps in this literature, integrates the main findings of the present body of work, and outlines how they might inform audiences interested in promoting transitions toward reduced meat consumption and more sustainable, healthier, plant-based diets.