Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Something To Chew On : A Critical Perspective on the Layout of Prospect Dining Hall in Relation to Consumer Psychology, based off “The Optimal Foraging Theory” and it’s Relativity to the Nutritional Wellness of the Student Body at Plymouth State University.


I will be applying the optimal foraging theory to human consumers, specifically the one’s here at Plymouth State University. Through this, I will also be connecting consumer psychology to the nutritional choices in which patrons of Prospect dining hall make. This project will be executed by means of a critical approach, implying that the layout of the cafeteria and the food choices offered at specific geographical points of interest, financially benefit Sodexo and harm the nutritional well-being of the student body. What I mean by this is consideration of Sodexo, and where they market the more affordable and less nutritious options in a certain place so consumers are more apt to eat those options compared to higher priced, or more nutritious options that are harder to get to.         
  


I want to conduct a plate survey that will tell me a lot about what consumers are eating. I also will compare and contract other cafeteria set ups, through Sodexo and other establishments to decipher whether or not they are more nutritionally beneficial for the consumer. Many of my research will be observational and it will be conducted in the dining hall. I will note what students consume and why. I will also be conducting interviews with staff members of Sodexo to obtain their knowledge on food preference of students and what they see. A paper demonstrating my results from my observation and research sources should suffice for a written portion to this project, and I will also be proposing a new layout for the dining hall that will be nutritionally beneficial for consumers.

This capstone involves the well-being of stake holders in the Plymouth State University community. These stakeholders include the consumers that frequent Prospect Dining hall, those who work at the dining hall, and also Sodexo as a corporation. Since I am part of the student body, this applies to not only myself as a consumer, but also my fellow classmates. This project also uses a trans-disciplinary approach, connecting and crossing bridges between academic and non-academic participants. I will be consulting between, nutritionists, anthropologists, corporate employees, consumers, and holistic health advisers.
The fields in which I will use to conduct this project include:
·         Anthropology
·         Psychology
·         Economics
·         Nutrition Science
Anthropology offers me a foundation in the culture and habits of consumers in a social setting and also supplies the basis of understandings for the Optimal Foraging Theory. I must use Psychology to support my research in consumer choices and why people choose what they choose based on a sensory experience. Nutrition science is necessary to connect with what patrons actually consume and the result of their choices and what it does to their well-being and health. Economics will be applied to show reason of Sodexo’s financial choices in what they purchase, the amount they purchase it in, and why they display food options in the specific ways.


March
Week 2


Week 3

Week 4
-Begin literature search
-Choose variables for observation
-Consult with Sodexo for approval
-Begin observation, Project in action
April
Week 1







Week 2




Week 3


Week 4
-Interview with Holistic Health Adviser
-Interview with Sodexo Nutritionist
-Complete Literature Search

-Continue observation
-Plate Survey, Project in action
-Research



-Begin new layout for the cafeteria
-Consult with Kate Donahue (Anthropologist)
-Begin project Paper draft

-Continue Research, Project in action
-Complete project paper
May
Week 1



Week 2
-Start work on Screen cast
-Complete Screen cast
-Start PPT

-Revise Paper and PPT
-Present final product





 Photo Sources:
www.lifespan.org
Sodexo-reslife.coloradomtn.edu
elpasotimes.com

5 comments:

  1. I am impressed by the name of your project. I like it and I think it is very creative but relatively long. Maybe something shorter would draw more attention because I was lost while reading it. I very like how you mentioned transdisciplinarity of your project. Your project is certainly transdisciplinary and it requires collaboration between academy and stakeholders. This transdisiciplinary approach allows them to transcend and operate outside the boundaries and cultures of chosen disciplines. The disciplines you relate to your project are relevant and each of them is crucial. You mentioned you are going to conduct a survey and I was wondering if you are also going to interview Sodexo consumers or not. It seems like you know what you are doing and you are able to make it on time according to your timeline.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As soon as you pitched this idea in class I jumped right on board with it! I cannot wait to see the outcome of this project, and to see if the school uses your data to their advantage! It will be extremely interesting to see how this plays out, and I think that it's awesome that you are actually doing something beneficial for out University that we all have learned to love. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  3. As soon as you pitched this idea in class I jumped right on board with it! I cannot wait to see the outcome of this project, and to see if the school uses your data to their advantage! It will be extremely interesting to see how this plays out, and I think that it's awesome that you are actually doing something beneficial for out University that we all have learned to love. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Kacie! This is an interesting project....and a neat way to blend multiple perspectives to determine the influences underlying food choices. I think if people had better awareness/self-reflection of their choices, it would go far in perhaps shifting and bettering our choices. I'm interested to see what you learn! -Dr. O'Donnell

    ReplyDelete
  5. This will really be an awesome project, and it has the potential to really shake things up. What will you do with your deliverables, besides turning them in to me and posting some of your stuff on the web in your screencast? I guess what I am asking is: are you planning to give this work to Sodexo as a suggestion for how they could improve? If so, you will want to be smart about how you represent them in your work. Of course you need to be critical, but you should think about whether you want this to be more of an exposé, or more of a consulting gig as if they hired you to help them. All in all, I think this will go really well, and I am excited to see if you can have an effect, both at PSU and at other Sodexo venues and/or other university dining halls!

    ReplyDelete