Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
Concordia University
Summary:
Whether it's recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products, guilt can be a strong motivator -- not just on Earth Day. Now, research proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behavior can increase the likelihood of following through -- especially when there's an audience.

Whether it's recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products, guilt can be a strong motivator -- not just on Earth Day.

Related Articles


Now, research from Concordia University's John Molson School of Business published in the Journal of Business Ethics, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behaviour can increase the likelihood of following through -- especially when there's an audience.

Lead author, marketing professor Onur Bodur explains that, "this is because asking people to predict whether they will undertake a certain behaviour increases their probability of actually doing so. It's what's called the 'self-prophecy effect.' Our research shows that that effect is even stronger for a person who defines him or herself by social ties and peer opinions."

The study demonstrates how the self-prophecy effect can be used as a marketing technique to increase shoppers' preference for environmentally friendly products. "While the self-prophecy effect has been applied in a consumer context before, our study is the first to examine whether it can actually make buyers more sustainability-conscious," notes Bodur.

Bodur and Concordia co-authors, Kimberly Duval and Bianca Grohmann, showed consumers an ad asking them whether they would purchase environmentally friendly products. Those who were exposed to the prediction message were much more likely to make sustainable consumption decisions later on when given the choice, compared to those exposed to an ad with a neutral message.

The authors then took the study one step further by introducing "watching eyes" alongside the ads. "We added an image of a face or group of faces appearing to make eye contact with the reader. This increased consumer preference for sustainable products even further," explains Bodur.

Again, these effects were stronger for consumers who define their identity based on the perceptions of others in their social circle, which is especially common in Eastern cultures.

The results of this study suggest that introducing a prediction request and audience cue into a social marketing campaign will help increase sales of sustainable products, while potentially boosting other pro-environmental and pro-social behaviours.

"The fact that these effects are stronger for those consumers who define themselves based on others' perceptions shows that this type of marketing strategy could prove especially useful in cultures where social relationships are central to one's identity. That's especially useful news for emerging Asian economies that are particularly plagued by pollution and environmental threats," says Bodur.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H. Onur Bodur, Kimberly M. Duval, Bianca Grohmann. Will You Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products? Using Prediction Requests to Increase Choice of Sustainable Products. Journal of Business Ethics, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2143-6

Cite This Page:

Concordia University. "Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113426.htm>.
Concordia University. (2014, April 22). Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113426.htm
Concordia University. "Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422113426.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins