Explaining consumer choice of low carbon footprint goods using the behavioral spillover effect in German-speaking countries

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Abstract

The aim of the research was to investigate how to stimulate sustainable consumer behaviors that lead to a lowering of the carbon footprint. Because of environmental challenges at the individual and societal levels, researchers agree that behavioral change is necessary. We argue that when already performing a sustainable behavior, this behavior can spill over to other sustainable actions, even to more difficult ones. First, we studied whether a positive behavioral spillover occurs between product categories and whether the spillover effect depends on the ease or difficulty of the sustainable behavior. Second, we investigated whether high awareness of sustainability determines the spillover between categories. We conducted three online experiments in Central Europe, investigating whether spillover takes place between behaviors assigned to the same category (transport or food) or between behaviors assigned to different categories (transport or food). In all three studies participants had to make two independent decisions. In studies 1a (N = 281) and 1b (N = 195), the effect of the ease/difficulty of the behavior was tested. In study 2 (N = 164), awareness of CO2 emission reducing effects was manipulated. Findings revealed a behavioral spillover between sustainable choices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429 - 439
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume214
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502019 Marketing
  • 501003 Occupational psychology
  • 501006 Experimental psychology
  • 501021 Social psychology
  • 501015 Organisational psychology

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