Eco-product choice cuts both ways: How proenvironmental licensing versus reinforcement is contingent on environmental consciousness

Aaron M. Garvey, Lisa E. Bolton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research identifies how choice of an eco-product (e.g., low-energy LED light bulbs, biodegradable paper towels) influences downstream, environmentally responsible behavior. Eco-product choice either reinforces or undermines subsequent environmentally responsible behavior, and this effect is contingent on individual consumers' preexisting environmental consciousness: among less environmentally conscious consumers, proenvironmental behavior is undermined; in contrast, highly environmentally conscious consumers display reinforcement of proenvironmental behavior. The authors reveal that these differential effects are driven by two discrete processes working in opposition: goal satiation drives licensing in the case of less environmentally conscious consumers, and prosocial self-perceptions drive reinforcement among highly conscious consumers. In addition, the authors identify a point-of-purchase intervention that mitigates the detrimental effects among less environmentally conscious consumers. Together, these results shed light on the downstream consequences of eco-product choice for consumers, with implications for the marketing and regulation of such products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-298
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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