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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
The Journal of Social Psychology

For a Special Issue on
The Social Psychology of Vegetarianism and Meat Restriction: Implications of Conceptualizing Dietary Habit as a Social Identity

Manuscript deadline
01 September 2021

Cover image - The Journal of Social Psychology

Special Issue Editor(s)

John Nezlek, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities; College of William & Mary
[email protected]

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The Social Psychology of Vegetarianism and Meat Restriction: Implications of Conceptualizing Dietary Habit as a Social Identity

The Journal of Social Psychology is pleased to solicit manuscripts for a special issue devoted to the social psychology of vegetarianism. JSP, which was founded in 1929, has been an outlet for papers describing high-quality research for over 90 years. It has a five-year impact factor of 1.61, and more information about the journal can be found on its homepage.

Although definitions vary, as a starting point, vegetarianism can be thought of as the practice of abstaining from eating meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from using products that require the killing of animals or the abstention from using products that are derived from animals. The phrase “starting point” is meant to represent the fact that there is no universally agreed upon definition of vegetarianism, and individuals may think of themselves as vegetarians even though they may not restrict their consumption of animal products in ways that are consistent with the definition just provided. For example, many people who eat fish but do not eat red meat or poultry think of themselves as vegetarians. Such a possibility highlights the importance of treating dietary habit as a social identity, and the conceptualization of dietary habit as a social identity, particularly diets that are variants of vegetarianism, is the organizing theme of the special issue.

Within this context, papers about a broad range of topics are solicited. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Studies of in-group and out-group phenomena, which could include studies of sub-groups of vegetarians or vegans, studies of veg*ns and omnivores. Veg*n is a term used to describe vegetarians and vegans as a single group.
  2. Relationships between the motivations people have to follow vegetarian diets and social perception, social behavior, and social/political attitudes and beliefs, and differences between veg*ns and omnivores and among sub-groups of veg*ns.
  3. Recently, two terms have been come into use describing diets that involve meat-restriction: flexitarianism and reducitarianism. Although the definitions are still in flux, flexitarians can be thought of individuals who are primarily vegetarians but who eat meat occasionally, whereas reducitarians are omnivores who are committed to reducing, but not eliminating, their consumption of meat. Questions remain however, if following such diets constitutes a social identity per se.

Submitted papers should describe the results of empirically focused studies. There are no limitations in terms of methods, although in-depth analyses of small samples and ethnographic studies are less likely to be published than studies using more quantitatively focused methods on larger samples. Review papers will not be published, and papers that primarily concern the psychometrics of measures of vegetarian identity (new or old) will not be published.

It is expected that between 7 and 10 paper will be published in the special issue

Submission Instructions

The journal publishes full-length articles (8,000 words or less) and short reports (2,500 words or less plus two tables or figures). Word counts do not include title/abstract/references. Manuscripts should be submitted through the normal submission portal for JSP (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jsp), and authors should select the “Vegetarianism” special issue option during submission.

John Nezlek will be editor for this special issue, and authors who have questions about this special issue, including questions about the appropriateness of a specific submission are encouraged to contact him ([email protected]). When asking questions about a specific submission, please provide an abstract or summary of the paper.

As a courtesy to reviewers, authors are expected to prepare manuscripts that conform to the style guidelines presented on the journal homepage. Manuscripts that do not confirm to the style guide in substantive ways (e.g., reference style) will be returned unreviewed with the opportunity to resubmit a properly formatted manuscript.

Manuscripts submitted for this special issue are expected to meet Research Materials and Data Transparency requirements. Requests for rare exceptions to these requirements, including a justification for the exception, should be made in the cover letter accompanying initial submissions. Details about Open Science Badges and Research Transparency at The Journal of Social Psychology can be found in the following statements of editorial policy.

Grahe, J. E. (2014). Announcing open science badges and reaching for the sky. The Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 1-3.

Grahe, J. E. (2018). Another step towards scientific transparency: Requiring research materials for publication. The Journal of Social Psychology, 158(1), 1-3.


Papers due September 1, 2021

Revisions due February 1, 2022

Anticipated publication date: January 2023

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