Purchasing Green a Licence to Steal, Cheat

Just as a salad option on a menu increases the incid­ence of unhealthy orders, and nation­al park vis­it­ors are less likely to sup­port con­ser­va­tion char­it­ies later in life (as com­pared to hikers or back­pack­ers), now buy­ing green has been shown to increase bad beha­viour.

It’s not all bad, though: merely being exposed to green products increases altru­ist­ic behaviour—it’s pur­chas­ing said products that is shown to increase bad beha­viour such as cheat­ing and steal­ing.

From the paper’s Abstract:

Con­sumer choices not only reflect price and qual­ity pref­er­ences but also social and mor­al val­ues as wit­nessed in the remark­able growth of the glob­al mar­ket for organ­ic and envir­on­ment­ally friendly products. Build­ing on recent research on beha­vi­or­al prim­ing and mor­al reg­u­la­tion, we find that mere expos­ure to green products and the pur­chase of them lead to markedly dif­fer­ent beha­vi­or­al con­sequences. In line with the halo asso­ci­ated with green con­sumer­ism, people act more altru­ist­ic­ally after mere expos­ure to green than con­ven­tion­al products. How­ever, people act less altru­ist­ic­ally and are more likely to cheat and steal after pur­chas­ing green products as opposed to con­ven­tion­al products. Togeth­er, the stud­ies show that con­sump­tion is more tightly con­nec­ted to our social and eth­ic­al beha­vi­ors in dir­ec­tions and domains oth­er than pre­vi­ously thought.

1 thought on “Purchasing Green a Licence to Steal, Cheat

  1. cliff perry

    This paper’s con­clu­sions from Rot­man is so ludicrous, i cant believe i’m read­ing it ! sounds like the cbc radio show, ‘this is that’ – like total fic­tion made to sound like fact.

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