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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Economics and Econometrics