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Impulsive consumption and reflexive thought: Nudging ethical consumer behavior

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  • Lades, Leonhard K.

Abstract

The paper deals with impulsive consumption and highlights the roles that two aspects of reflexive thought (namely self-control and self-image motives) play in intertemporal decisions. While self-control can inhibit individuals from consuming impulsively, self-image motives can induce impulsive consumption. Based on recent neuroscientific findings about ‘wanting’–‘liking’ dissociations, the paper presents the cue-triggered ‘wanting’ mechanism as one potential explanation for the occurrence of such impulsive consumption. Utilizing the knowledge of this mechanism and acknowledging both aspects of reflexive thought, the paper expands on three libertarian paternalistic means to foster an ethical way of impulsive consumption: strengthening willpower, reducing impulsive desires to consume, and guiding impulsive behavior in ethical directions by making salient certain self-images that favor ethical consumption.

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  • Lades, Leonhard K., 2014. "Impulsive consumption and reflexive thought: Nudging ethical consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 114-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:41:y:2014:i:c:p:114-128
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2013.01.003
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2015. "Autonomy-Enhancing Paternalism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 3-27, February.
    2. Achtziger, Anja & Hubert, Marco & Kenning, Peter & Raab, Gerhard & Reisch, Lucia, 2015. "Debt out of control: The links between self-control, compulsive buying, and real debts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 141-149.
    3. Leonhard Lades, 2014. "Book Reviews," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 329-334, October.
    4. Andreas Chai, 2017. "Tackling Keynes’ question: a look back on 15 years of Learning To Consume," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-271, April.
    5. Christian Schubert, 2015. "On the ethics of public nudging: Autonomy and Agency," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201533, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Martin Binder, 2014. "Should evolutionary economists embrace libertarian paternalism?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 515-539, July.
    7. Binder, Martin & Lades, Leonhard K, 2014. "Autonomy-enhancing paternalism," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-02, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Christian Schubert, 2014. "Evolutionary economics and the case for a constitutional libertarian paternalism—a comment on Martin Binder, “should evolutionary economists embrace libertarian paternalism?”," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 1107-1113, November.
    9. Bossuyt, Saar & Vermeir, Iris & Slabbinck, Hendrik & De Bock, Tine & Van Kenhove, Patrick, 2017. "The compelling urge to misbehave: Do impulse purchases instigate unethical consumer behavior?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 60-76.
    10. Martin Binder, 2014. "A constitutional paradigm is not enough—would sovereign citizens really agree to manipulative nudges?—A reply to Christian Schubert," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(5), pages 1115-1120, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Impulsivity; ‘Wanting’ versus ‘liking’; Ethical consumption; Libertarian paternalism;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

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