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Consumer choices not only reflect price and quality preferences but also social and moral values as witnessed in the remarkable growth of the global market for organic and environmentally friendly products. Building on recent research on behavioral priming and moral regulation, we find that mere exposure to green products and the purchase of them lead to markedly different behavioral consequences. In line with the halo associated with green consumerism, people act more altruistically after mere exposure to green than conventional products. However, people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after purchasing green products as opposed to conventional products. Together, the studies show that consumption is more tightly connected to our social and ethical behaviors in directions and domains other than previously thought.
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You can download the article for free here. For a sample of related Situationist posts, see “Denial,”The Situational Effects of Hand-Washing,” “Unclean Hands,” “Bargh and Baumeister and the Free Will Debate — Part I & Part II” “Social Psychology and the Unconscious: The Automaticity of Higher Processes,” “Situation of Consumption,” “The Color of Sex Appeal,” “The Primitive Appeal of The Color Red,” and “The (Unconscious) Situation of our Consciousness – Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV.”