Do Green Products Make Us Better People?

6 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2009 Last revised: 13 Jun 2014

Nina Mazar

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management

Chen-Bo Zhong

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Date Written: August 27, 2009

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.

Keywords: priming, licensing, moral regulation, altruism, honesty, cheating, consumer, purchase, green products, organic

Suggested Citation

Mazar, Nina and Zhong, Chen-Bo, Do Green Products Make Us Better People? (August 27, 2009). Psychological Science, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 494-498, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1463018

Nina Mazar (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada
+1 (416) 946-5650 (Phone)
+1 (416) 978-5433 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ninamazar.com

Chen-Bo Zhong

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada

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