When status on the mind, people forgo luxury for green products

Washington, Mar 16 (ANI): People will choose a more environmentally friendly product over one with more comfortable features in order to improve their own reputations, claims a researcher.

“Green purchases are often motivated by status,” says Vladas Griskevicius, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. “People want to be seen as being altruistic. Nothing communicates that better than by buying green products that often cost more and are of lower quality but benefit the environment for everyone.”

In the recently published paper “Going Green to Be Seen: Status, Reputation, and Conspicuous Conservation,” Griskevicius and co-authors find that people will forgo luxury and comfort for a green item.

“Many green purchases are rooted in the evolutionary idea of competitive altruism, the notion that people compete for status by trying to appear more altruistic,” says Griskevicius.

His research finds that when people shop alone online, they choose products that are luxurious and enhance comfort. But when in public, people’s preferences for green products increases because most people want to be seen as caring altruists.

“A reputation for being a caring individual gives you status and prestige. When you publicly display your environmentally friendly nature, you send the signal that you care,” states Griskevicius.

Interestingly, the study also shows that status motives increased desirability of green products especially when such products cost more—but not less—relative to non-green products.

The paper “Going Green to Be Seen: Status, Reputation, and Conspicuous Conservation,” has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (ANI)

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