Development and validation of the Psychological Food Involvement Scale (PFIS)

Greta Castellini*, Eleanor J. Bryant, Barbara J. Stewart-Knox, Guendalina Graffigna

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Food Involvement reflects the bond between consumer and food, and serves as a means of expression, identity and social recognition. Yet no existing scales are able to assess the complex psychological nature of Food Involvement. To fill this gap, this study developed and validated a Psychological Food Involvement Scale (PFIS). Data were collected by an online self-report questionnaire, involving 476 Italians aged 20–72 years (M = 48.13, SD = 13.18). The structure and psychometric properties of PFIS were examined through an exploratory and a confirmatory factor analysis, and construct validity was assessed by correlating it with Food Involvement Scale, Food Variety Seeking Scale and the General Health Interest Scale. As a behavioural indicator of validity, food and drink consumption was assessed using the Dietary Habits and Nutrition Beliefs Questionnaire. Factor analysis indicated that the PFIS comprised 19 items grouped in four stable dimensions: Emotional Balance; Self-Realization; Social Affirmation; Social Bonding. People more psychologically involved in food were more interested in healthy eating and more likely to vary their diet. The PFIS discriminated between dietary patterns. Higher PFIS scores were associated with frequent consumption of meat/fish and wholegrains/legumes. Frequent intake of meat/fish and snacks was associated with Social Bonding and meat/fish with Emotional Balance. The PFIS also explained consumption of vegetable drinks and lactose-free milk indicating the symbolic value ascribed to them related to self-expression, acceptance by others, and emotions. This implies potential for the PFIS for use in research to understand food choice and promote healthy eating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104784-N/A
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Consumer behaviour
  • FFQ
  • Food Choice
  • General Health Interest Scale
  • Psychological Food Involvement Scale
  • Variety-Seeking Scale


Dive into the research topics of 'Development and validation of the Psychological Food Involvement Scale (PFIS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this