At the beginning of this research, we had in mind the low consumption level of fruits and vegetables among French young people despite several months of intense exposure to health messages, such as “eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day”. Studies show that French young people have memorized the messages, but did not alter their eating habits. Our major hypothesis was that some “mental blocks” might be curbing fruit consumption, and removing them might increase consumption. Similarly we thought that some “mental levers” if well activated could increase fruit consumption. Identifying “mental blocks” and “mental levers” related to fruits became our research goal. To achieve this objective, building the cognitive map of the fruit universe appears an appropriate method. In the process of constructing the map we discovered that we could also assess, although imperfectly, how people have formed their mental representation over the courses of the years.


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