When University of Toronto researchers Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong recently looked into the topic, they found that exposure to green products can under certain circumstances license us to act imorally.
Through a series of experiments, Mazar and Zhong drew the following distinction between two kinds of exposure to green: When it’s a matter of pure priming (i.e., we are reminded of eco products through words or images), our norms of social responsibility get activated and we become more likely to act ethically afterwards. But if we take the next step and actually purchase the green product (thereby aligning our actions with our moral self-image), we give ourselves the go-ahead to then slack off a little and engage in subsequent dishonest behavior.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
When Green Consumption is Bad
Dan Ariely writes about the Prius effect (Technology Review):