Conspicuous Conservation: Promoting Green Consumption Through Status Competition

Vladas Griskevicius, University of Minnesota, USA
Joshua M. Tybur, University of New Mexico, USA
Bram Van den Bergh, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium
How can we motivate consumers to go green? Drawing on evolutionary theories that consider the reputational costs and benefits of altruism, this research examined a novel strategy: activating a motive for status. Three experiments showed that eliciting status motives led people to choose green products over non-green counterparts. Consistent with the reputational benefits of appearing prosocial, status motives were especially likely to increase desire for green products when shopping in public, but not in private. Results are consistent with the theory of competitive altruism and indicate that status motives can promote the use of pro-environmental products.
[ to cite ]:
Vladas Griskevicius, Joshua M. Tybur, and Bram Van den Bergh (2009) ,"Conspicuous Conservation: Promoting Green Consumption Through Status Competition", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 206-209.