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

Author

Listed:
  • Astrid Matthey

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

  • Tim Kasser

    () (Knox College, Department of Psychology)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Matthey & Tim Kasser, 2013. "Values, food and bags: A study of consumption decisions in a laboratory supermarket," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 225-241, May.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Richins, Marsha L & Dawson, Scott, 1992. " A Consumer Values Orientation for Materialism and Its Measurement: Scale Development and Validation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 303-316, December.
    6. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
    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. Kirk Brown & Tim Kasser, 2005. "Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 349-368, November.
    13. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer Behavior; Values; Conservation (Ecological Behavior);

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Q31 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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