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Values, food and bags: A study of consumption decisions in a laboratory supermarket

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  • Astrid Matthey

    ()
    (Max-Planck-Insititute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Tim Kasser

    ()
    (Knox College, Department of Psychology)

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    Abstract

    We study the relation between people's personal values and environmentally friendly consumption behavior. We first assessed subjects' personal values using the Aspiration Index. Then subjects participated in a laboratory supermarket offering organic and conventional food products and different kinds of bags. The results suggest that subjects' personal values are poor predictors of their ecologically-relevant consumption behavior. However, we find that subjects who spontaneously reflected upon power values made less ecologically sustainable consumption decisions than did those who reflected on universalism values. We discuss methodological differences as possible reasons for variations between our results and those of earlier studies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2013-007.

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    Date of creation: 17 Jan 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-007

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    Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Values; Conservation (Ecological Behavior);

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    1. Kahn, Matthew E., 2007. "Do greens drive Hummers or hybrids? Environmental ideology as a determinant of consumer choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 129-145, September.
    2. Shepherd, Dean A. & Kuskova, Valya & Patzelt, Holger, 2009. "Measuring the values that underlie sustainable development: The development of a valid scale," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 246-256, April.
    3. Thogersen, John & Olander, Folke, 2002. "Human values and the emergence of a sustainable consumption pattern: A panel study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 605-630, October.
    4. Grunert, Suzanne C. & Juhl, Hans Jorn, 1995. "Values, environmental attitudes, and buying of organic foods," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 39-62, March.
    5. Peter Schmuck & Tim Kasser & Richard Ryan, 2000. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals: Their Structure and Relationship to Well-Being in German and U.S. College Students," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 225-241, May.
    6. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2009. "Determinants of pro-environmental consumption: The role of reference groups and routine behavior," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 166-176, November.
    7. Kirk Brown & Tim Kasser, 2005. "Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 349-368, November.
    8. Teisl, Mario F. & Roe, Brian & Hicks, Robert L., 2002. "Can Eco-Labels Tune a Market? Evidence from Dolphin-Safe Labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 339-359, May.
    9. Cason, T.N. & Gangadharan, L., 1999. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 708, The University of Melbourne.
    10. Murphy, James J. & Stranlund, John K., 2007. "A laboratory investigation of compliance behavior under tradable emissions rights: Implications for targeted enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 196-212, March.
    11. Wier, Mette & O'Doherty Jensen, Katherine & Andersen, Laura Mørch & Millock, Katrin, 2008. "The character of demand in mature organic food markets: Great Britain and Denmark compared," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 406-421, October.
    12. Richins, Marsha L & Dawson, Scott, 1992. " A Consumer Values Orientation for Materialism and Its Measurement: Scale Development and Validation," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 303-16, December.
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