Fooling Yourself: the Role of Internal Defense Mechanisms in Unsustainable Consumption Behavior

Alexander Stich, WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany
Tillmann Wagner, WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany
Sustainability offers a fertile ground for the rise of intrapsychic conflicts. In-depth interviews reveal that consumers use specific psychological defense mechanisms to continue unsustainable consumption. Only in case of intense conflicts, actual behavior is modified. This research proposes a theoretical framework of how consumers deal with inner conflicts.
[ to cite ]:
Alexander Stich and Tillmann Wagner (2012) ,"Fooling Yourself: the Role of Internal Defense Mechanisms in Unsustainable Consumption Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep G├╝rhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 408-416.