Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Ahmed Alattas

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Spring 2020

Research Project: How Does Cuisine Diversity Impact Intended Consumption  

Project Description: We demonstrate that the presence of diverse cuisine options (cuisine diversity) increases intended consumption and alleviates boredom compared to being limited to one cuisine. While food variety is generally theorized to increase consumption across contexts, we establish a situational constraint: cuisine diversity is less desirable and is perceived as “clashing” more in one meal than across multiple meals. We discuss the implications of diverse cultural products’ capacity to influence decision-making and the necessity of attending to context-dependent factors when predicting how exposure to diversity may shape behavior.

What have you learned throughout your project?

 Advanced quantitative data analysis and graduate level research writing.

What piece of advice would you give to future Mary Gates Scholarship applicants?

Follow the prompt and study the instructions carefully. When in doubt, always apply. It doesn’t hurts to give it a try. Take advantage of the Mary Gates staff’s office hours for feedback, it’s underrated and immensely precious. Apply again!