About me. My life-long fascination with cross-cultural differences began in 2002 when I became a finalist for the FLEX exchange student competition program in Ukraine. I came to the United States then for one academic year and stayed with a wonderful American host family. Eventually, I moved to the U.S. to finish my degree and remained to work and pursue graduate school.
With my international background it was only a matter of time until I began studying cultural variation professionally. Since nutrition has been an old passion of mine (I have been one of the local health food co-op managers and taught public classes on healthy eating in Indiana), my research interest is now focused on perceptions of food healthiness and risks. Why does cross-cultural variation exist in how people categorize and judge foods and eating situations? How do our cognitive models of “healthy eating” develop, spread across social networks, and how do they translate to health outcomes?
I am also intrigued by studying food ideologies and how people become part of alternative dietary movements. Lastly, I try to understand food preferences and perceptions from an evolutionary perspective as well as perceptions of an “evolutionary appropriate” diet. All my projects are aimed at improving health, nutrition, and science communication, as well as official eating recommendations and health policy.
Contact: Mvoytyuk (at) asu.edu
- Lay mental models of “healthy eating” and relevance of “eating context”
- Health and science communication- role of cognitive biases in perceptions
- Risk perceptions in diet and health, policy implications
- Research sites: North America and Eastern Europe
Click on “CV” tab for information on teaching and publications.