心理科学进展, 2019, 27(8): 1507-1520 doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01507

研究前沿

绿色消费的困境:身份建构抑或环境关心?

王财玉,1, 郑晓旭2, 余秋婷1, 雷雳3

1 信阳师范学院心理学系, 河南 信阳 464000

2 安阳工学院经济管理学院, 河南 安阳 455000

3 中国人民大学心理学系, 北京 100872

The dilemma of green consumption: identity construction or environmental concern?

WANG Caiyu,1, Zheng Xiaoxu2, YU Qiuting1, LEI Li3

1 Department of Psychology, Xinyang Normal University, Xinyang 464000, China

2 Anyang Institute of Technology, Anyang 455000, China

3 Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China

通讯作者: 王财玉, E-mail: wangcaiyu80@163.com

收稿日期: 2018-08-25   网络出版日期: 2019-07-26

基金资助: * 国家自然科学基金项目.  71502157
河南省教师教育课程改革研究项目.  2019-JSJYYB-037
信阳师范学院“南湖学者奖励计划”青年项目(Nanhu Scholars Program for Young Scholars of XYNU)资助.  

Received: 2018-08-25   Online: 2019-07-26

摘要

绿色消费具有道德属性, 消费者既有可能是为了建构道德身份, 实现自我保护或自我提升(自我导向), 也有可能是源于内在的道德信念, 实现对环境的关心(环境导向)。基于身份建构的绿色消费会导致行为不稳定、甚至撒谎和盗窃等, 其心理机制是道德自我调节; 基于环境关心的绿色消费则与之相反, 它植根于更广泛的道德联想网络, 与节俭、自我控制等紧密相关, 道德认同机制在其中发挥作用。那么, 究竟是身份建构还是环境关心呢?在阐述调节因素基础上, 我们构建了基于个体生活方式的绿色消费模型, 从个体差异的视角回答了该问题。未来研究需要从理论和实践上进一步展开。

关键词: 绿色消费 ; 道德自我调节 ; 道德认同

Abstract

Green consumption is an ethical issue, including two types of motivation: Identity construction and environmental concern. Green consumption based on identity construction would lead to the instability of green consumption, even lies and theft, and its psychological mechanism was moral self-regulation. The green consumption performance based on environmental concern was the opposite, and mechanism of moral identity played a role. So, was it identity construction or environmental concern? It might be influenced by many factors. On this basis, we built a green consumption model based on individual life style, which clarified the problem from the perspective of individual differences. Finally, Future research needs to focus on green consumption from theory and practice.

Keywords: green consumption ; moral self-regulation ; moral identity

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本文引用格式

王财玉, 郑晓旭, 余秋婷, 雷雳. (2019). 绿色消费的困境:身份建构抑或环境关心? . 心理科学进展, 27(8), 1507-1520

WANG Caiyu, Zheng Xiaoxu, YU Qiuting, LEI Li. (2019). The dilemma of green consumption: identity construction or environmental concern?. Advances in Psychological Science, 27(8), 1507-1520

1 引言

全球环境问题主要是由人类活动所致(Dong, Deng, Li, & Huang, 2017), 如温室效应、水资源短缺、空气污染以及物种灭绝等(Chen & Lee, 2015; Wang, Zhang, & Liu, 2016)。为了促进更多环保行为的发生, 研究者也开始关注个体的环境心理(如安于现状偏差)在其中的作用(李鹏娜, 王延伸, 杨金花, 孙彦, 2017), 甚至将心理因素与互联网技术相结合(王建明, 孙彦, 2018)。环境恶化虽然是一个经济和政治问题, 但从根本上说, 它是道德问题, 需要人们在道德上予以回应(Williston, 2015)。

绿色消费是化解环境问题的重要举措, 环境意识高的消费者更愿意购买绿色产品、也更愿意选择绿色生活方式(Teng & Ow, 2014)。所以, 消费者在助推绿色社会发展过程中具有重要的积极作用(Nicolao, Constantinos, & Michele, 2018)。绿色消费是指在购买、使用或处置产品时尽量弱化个体行为对环境所产生的消极影响(Carlson, Grove, & Kangun, 1993)。从这一定义可以看出绿色消费涉及绿色购买、绿色使用和绿色处置三部分内容(吴波, 王财玉, 李东进, 2016)。绿色消费体现了个体社会责任感, 已超出了消费领域的范畴, 具有一定的道德属性:首先, 消费者具有亲社会性。环境保护的受益者不是消费者个人而是整个社会, 不是当前而是更长远的未来。其次, 消费者具有牺牲精神。绿色产品价格一般较高(Griskevicius, Tybur & van den Bergh, 2010), 这会给消费者带来一定的损失(White & Simpson, 2013)。基于以上两点, 人们认为绿色消费者“更合作、更利他、也更道德” (Mazar & Zhong, 2010)。但不购买绿色产品并不意味着不道德。Janoff-Bulman, Sheikh和Hepp (2009)将道德分作两类:禁止性道德(proscriptive morality)偏重消极的后果, 关注的是个体不该做什么, 如偷窃; 而指定性道德(prescriptive morality)则偏重积极的结果, 强调个体应该去做什么, 如助人。综上所述, 绿色消费反映了个体的亲社会性, 属于指定性道德, 符合道德范畴。

营销人员也试图用这方面的信息增强消费者的道德感知进而促进绿色购买。然而, 在过去几十年, 消费者的环保行为却在稳定下降, 尤其是在年轻群体中间(Twenge, Campbell, & Freeman, 2012); 多年以来, 绿色产品的市场占有率也一直不高(e.g., Sheth, Sethia, & Srinivas, 2011)。有关这方面原因的解释之一就在于我们是否将环境问题归之为道德问题(Williston, 2015)。因此, 政策制定者和营销者呼吁进一步探讨绿色消费背后的心理因素。

那么, 绿色消费背后的动机是什么呢?绿色消费属于道德范畴, 人们也倾向于认为绿色消费者更道德(Mazar & Zhong, 2010), 所以, 消费者选择一款绿色产品既有可能是为了建构自我道德形象, 也有可能是源于内在的道德信念。基于此, 本文将从道德心理学的视角入手, 以道德自我调节和道德认同两大理论作为支柱, 围绕相关研究成果展开系统梳理; 在此基础上, 进一步从个体生活方式视角出发勾勒出绿色消费的个体差异, 进而为市场细分和环境教育提供参考。

2 绿色消费的身份建构:自我导向消费

在消费主义时代, 商品购买不仅是为了满足个体功能需求, 还要实现自我身份建构的目的。身份目标追求(identity goal pursuits)是指消费者通过商品(如, 奢侈品或绿色产品)构建和表达自我身份的需求(Shrum et al., 2013)。身份既有年龄、性别等个体特征, 也有道德身份、社会地位等社会特征。绿色消费具有道德象征意义, 可以实现自我道德身份的建构。

2.1 绿色消费的身份建构

2.1.1 身份建构的动机

在正常情境下通过绿色消费, 消费者可以有效地向他人展示自我, 实现自我提升; 而在威胁情景下则可以重建社会连接, 达到自我保护的目的。身份建构涉及到自我与社会的互动, 无论自我提升还是自我保护, 绿色消费都是社会性需求的结果, 但最终目标却是服务自我。所以, 基于身份建构的绿色消费是自我导向消费。

(1) 自我提升

亲社会行为会留下积极、正面的社会形象, 可以作为自我提升的一种策略。绿色产品属于亲社会性产品, 可以帮助消费者进行印象管理, 所以, “他人在场”可以促进消费者对绿色产品的选择(Peloza, White, & Shang, 2013)。研究发现, “在商店” (公开场合)购物比“单个人在网上” (私下场合)更能促进绿色购买(Griskevicius et al., 2010)。这是因为消费决策时他人在场会启动自我提升的动机。地位需求是自我提升动机一种衍化方式, 消费者往往借用贵重商品向他人展示社会地位。Griskevicius等(2010)进一步研究发现, 当消费者在公开场合购买, 且绿色产品价格更高时, 绿色购买可以更好地满足消费者的地位需求。个体不仅需要提升自我形象, 还会积极维护内群体的形象。研究者还发现, 在公开而非私下场合, 外群体在绿色消费上的积极表现能有效刺激“他或她”进行绿色消费, 这是因为外群体的积极表现会威胁到内群体形象(White, Simpson, & Argo, 2014)。

然而, 提升自我的道德身份往往是基本需求满足之后的结果。绿色产品更温和(Lin & Chang, 2012), 绿色消费者也更友好(Mazar & Zhong, 2010), 但男性并不倾向于把自我定义为绿色消费者。这是因为社会文化一般要求男性在能动性方面具有较高的品质, 比如独立、坚韧、力量等, 关注自我价值的实现。所以, 男性更不愿意选择威胁男性形象的产品。Brough, Wilkie, Ma, Isaac和Gal (2016)研究发现, 男性之所以不愿意环保, 那是因为环保行为显得太过于女性化, 形成了“环保=女性”的认知联结。男性为了保持男子性气概, 会更少的进行环保行为, 并且有意疏远绿色产品(Brough et al., 2016)。然而, 当男性的男子化气概得到肯定后, 男性则会更愿意选择绿色产品(Brough et al., 2016)。

(2) 自我保护

遭受到社会排斥后, 个体会通过亲社会行为重建社会连接, 以达到自我保护的目的。人类具有强烈的归属动机, 社会排斥会对个体归属感产生威胁, 从而导致防御行为。为了重新获得归属感, 个体将会尝试新的社会连接。所以, 社会排斥会增加个体的亲社会性表现(Romero-Canyas et al., 2010), 这个过程甚至可能会伴随着幸福感和金钱的损失(Mead, Baumeister, Stillman, Rawn, & Vohs, 2011), 如捐赠更多钱给慈善机构。

绿色消费被认为是道德表现(White et al., 2014), 遭遇社会排斥后, 个体同样也可以通过绿色消费建构道德自我, 建构社会关系。社会排斥会增加个体的亲自然性:Poon, Teng, Chow和Chen (2015)研究中, 实验1要求被试想象被同学或舍友排斥的情境, 结果增加了被试参加与自然相关的一系列活动的意愿, 如躺在草地上, 种花, 走访乡下, 吃绿色有机食品, 在当地农场种植树木等。尤为重要的是, 社会排斥的影响结果并不积极停留在增加个体的亲自然性方面, 还会增加个体的绿色使用和绿色处置。Poon等(2015)在实验2中采用抛球游戏引发被试的社会排斥感, 在排除了情绪影响后, 被排斥组在垃圾回收、节约用水等方面得分更高。Poon等(2015)的研究在环境保护方面又进一步丰富了相关研究, 在遭到社会排斥后, 为了保护自我, 个体不仅可以亲社会还可以亲环境。

然而, 遭遇社会排斥后, 个体是否选择绿色消费作为自我保护的工具会受到自我肯定的调节。自我肯定(Self-affirmation)会放大自我, 增加决策信心。Gao和Mattila (2016)研究发现, 如果绿色酒店被描绘成流行选择, 没有获得自我肯定的社会排斥组会更偏好这一流行选项, 因为个体通过这一流行选择可以重建社会关系。但获得自我肯定的社会排斥组(vs. 社会接纳组)更不愿预订这类流行酒店(Gao & Mattila, 2016), 因为通过拒绝这一流行选择可以实现“反排斥”的目的。此外, 如果绿色酒店被描绘为独特选择, 获得自我肯定的社会排斥组预订意愿则会显著提高(Gao & Mattila, 2016), 因为通过选择低流行的绿色酒店可以凸显自我的独特性, 进一步自我肯定, 同样达到反排斥的目的。

2.1.2 身份建构的完成

个体可以通过绿色消费实现道德自我的建构, 哪怕仅仅是口头承诺或者态度表达也能帮助实现这一目标; 但完成道德自我身份的建构之后, 消费者似乎不愿继续“绿色”, 主要表现如下:

(1) 绿色消费的波动性。为了促进绿色消费, 政府在预算分配中也在积极鼓励绿色消费, 但外部奖励会破坏绿色消费的内部动机, 当奖赏不存在时, 它将会回到先前的基线水平(Steg, Bolderdijk, Keizer, & Perlaviciute, 2014)。外部奖励下的绿色消费既可以满足经济利益也可以满足身份建构的需求。但当道德自我建构完成后, 个体似乎更不愿意绿色购买。Longoni, Gollwitzer和Oettingen (2014)研究发现, 当向被试反馈为“具有更好的绿色表现”时, 在随后的任务中他们对绿色产品的购买意愿会降低; 甚至实验任务中安排了环保活动也会降低随后的绿色选择(吴波, 李东进, 王财玉, 2016)。无论主试反馈还是实验任务安排, 道德自我的建构都是外界赋予的, 这导致个体行为具有极大的不稳定性。

(2) 态度-行为的分离。绿色消费行为可以为消费者随后的非绿色提供心理许可, 但仅仅只是思考下这一绿色行为也能出现类似效应。为了迎合社会赞许, 消费者倾向于报告对绿色消费的积极态度, 而这也帮助个体实现了自我建构。Nolan, Schultz, Cialdini, Griskevicius和Goldstein (2008)通过对810名美国居民调查发现, 环境保护被认为是最重要的节能理由(积极态度); 然而根据用户实际耗电情况分析发现, 这一理由和节能行为的相关性仅为0.06。所以, 消费者的绿色承诺很难转化为实际行为(Teng & Chang, 2014), 出现了态度与行为的分离(Carrington, Neville, & Whitwell, 2014)。又比如, 虽然消费者更愿选择绿色宾馆(Han, Hsu, & Sheu, 2010), 但实际上并未预订(Chong & Verma, 2013)。

(3) 绿色产品的过度使用。绿色消费可以给自我贴上“环保者”的标签, 在这个标签的掩盖下会变得更不环保, 绿色产品过度使用暴露了消费者这种自利性。一方面, 消费者认为绿色产品“更环保”, 可以尽量使用以满足个人需求。采用绿色能源后, 消费者会比以前更少调整空调的使用(World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD, 2008); 类似地, 转向混合动力汽车的消费者往往比拥有燃气汽车的车主行驶更多的英里数(WBCSD, 2011)。所以, 技术进步会提升燃料使用效率, 降低使用成本, 而这又将导致过度使用, 进一步破坏环境(Small & van Dender, 2007)。另一方面, 消费者又认为绿色产品“质量更差”, 只有大量使用才能更好地发挥产品功效。消费者认为绿色产品比较友好, 但这种温和的属性又让消费者认为产品功效(洗衣液的洗涤效果)较低(Luchs, Rebecca, Irwin, & Rajagopal, 2010), 无论内隐还是外显层面都表现出这种加工倾向, 即产品环保属性的提升是以产品质量降低为代价的(Newman, Gorlin, & Dhar, 2014)。因此, 消费者会增加绿色产品的使用量以弥补产品效力(Lin & Chang, 2012)。

(4) 享乐消费的增强。在进化过程中, 人类的生存与繁衍动机在大脑内部衍化出了奖赏系统, 当获得有利于生存和繁衍的物质时, 大脑就会分泌“快乐激素”来奖赏自己; 这种奖赏系统在商品经济繁盛的今天依然在发挥作用, 比如, 获得享乐品会产生一种本能的快感。享乐品虽然能给消费者来愉悦, 但却是非必需的; 所以, 享乐消费能给个体带来内疚感。绿色消费不同于享乐消费(Griskevicius et al., 2010), 它需要考虑消费行为给环境造成的潜在危害, 体现了个体的社会责任感。绿色消费可以增强消费者的道德自我感知, 进而抵消享乐消费所带来的罪恶感或内疚感, 从而为享乐消费提供充足的借口。Khan和Dhar (2006)研究发现, 购物袋重复使用提升了自我道德水平, 会增强随后的享乐选择; 吴波等(2016)研究也发现, 参与环保活动能增加随后的享乐消费。

(5) 不道德行为的产生。绿色消费满足自我道德建构后会影响个体的道德选择, 既可以降低指定性道德行为还能增强禁止性道德行为, 后者对社会的危害更大。首先, 绿色消费会降低指定性道德行为(比如, 志愿者行为)。Eskine (2013)研究发现, 相对于收到享乐食物信息(冰淇淋, 饼干, 巧克力和布朗尼), 收到绿色有机食品信息(苹果, 菠菜, 西红柿和胡萝卜)后被试的志愿者行为会显著降低。其次, 绿色消费会增强禁止性道德行为(如, 撒谎、偷窃)。Mazar和Zhong (2010)研究发现, 被试被随机分配到绿色产品和普通产品购买情境, 然后完成一个电脑任务, 在该任务中会呈现一个盒子, 这个盒子中每次都会呈现散落着的20个点。被试任务是判断盒子左边散落的点数多还是右边, 报告在左边可以得到0.5美分, 报告在右边则可以得到5美分。结果发现, 绿色产品购买组报告在右边的数量是51.4%, 高于基线40%, 也高于传统产品购买组的42.5%。这意味着绿色产品购买组为了获得更多金钱说了谎。此外, 由于被试在实验中可以自己从信封中取走被试费, 绿色购买组比传统购买组多偷窃了0.48美分。

2.2 道德自我调节机制

道德自我调节机制涉及两个道德自我形象, 即理想道德自我和现实道德自我(Sachdeva, Iliev, & Medin, 2009)。该理论认为, 人们的道德目标是使自己的道德形象保持在一个可以接受的水平上, 具有一定的弹性:当对现实道德自我的觉知低于理想目标时, 个体会增加道德行为; 反之, 则会减少道德选择(Sachdeva et al., 2009)。Sachdeva等(2009)采用实证研究证明了这一理论假设:首先, 研究者要求被试用道德词汇(或不道德词汇, 如卑鄙、自私等)对自我进行描述, 从而实现自我道德身份的建构; 随后鼓励被试用实验所得报酬向慈善机构进行捐款, 结果发现, 道德词汇启动组(vs. 不道德词汇启动组)具有更少的捐赠数额。

消费者倾向于以积极形象评价自我、呈现自我。绿色消费能提供有关消费者的亲社会信息, 出于道德身份建构的目的, 无论是自我提升还是自我保护, 绿色消费便成为个体提高或维护自我道德形象的一种方式。从时间维度上来说, 曾经的绿色选择有助于维护和提升个体的道德身份, 并影响随后的道德选择。Longoni等(2014)研究发现, 积极反馈组(在实验第一阶段让被试选择一系列产品, 然后告诉被试属于“具有积极的绿色表现”)在随后的游戏任务结束后更不愿意将废纸、塑料等进行分类处理, 他们的回收行为仅为18.2%, 远低于消极反馈组(告知被试本人为“绿色表现较差”) (81.0%)和控制组(42.9%)。这种外在行为背后的心理是什么呢?Longoni等(2014)在实验2中进一步研究发现, 积极反馈组在词汇判断任务中对于靶词(如, 地球、能源和回收)识别速度更慢, 这意味着他们在提取与绿色有关知识时更困难; 并且研究者还发现, 积极反馈组将“绿色”色块知觉为绿色的程度也更低(绿色在社会文化中代表着环保)。当个体被反馈为绿色消费者后, 意味着自我建构的完成, 这导致个体有关环保信息通达性(accessibility)降低, 进而表现出较少的环保行为; 与之相反的是, 当个体被反馈为非绿色消费者后, 由于需要建构道德自我, 与环保相关的信息更容易提取, 也更愿意通过垃圾回收等行为标识自我的绿色身份。绿色产品附加了环境议题, 产品价格也相对较高, 意味着消费者需要支付更高费用; 这种额外的付出足以证明自我的道德身份, 绿色消费之后个体也就不需要再自我控制(Sachdeva et al., 2009)。此外, 在Mazar和Zhong (2010)实验2中有个有趣的发现, 仅仅向被试呈现绿色产品会增加随后的利他行为, 但如果让被试尝试购买绿色产品则会降低利他性。这是因为向被试呈现绿色产品仅仅是启动了道德形象建构, 所以才会促进利他; 但购买绿色产品则意味着道德自我建构的完成, 从而调节自我的道德水平, 继而降低利他性。

道德自我调节机制中的“道德身份”, 具有一定的情境依赖性, 这也导致个体行为波动性。虽然越来越多消费者关注绿色消费, 但当绿色消费完成后, 哪怕只是一种绿色承诺, 也意味着道德自我形象建构完成, 于是在实际购买时, 消费者行为远离了当初的绿色承诺。

3 绿色消费的环境关心:环境导向消费

相比认知因素, 道德情感在绿色消费中起到的作用似乎更大。Kanchanapibul, Lacka, Wang和Chan (2014)研究发现, 情感因素(如, 当我想到人类破坏环境的方式时, 我感到愤怒)对绿色购买的影响作用要大于环境知识(0.489 vs.0.061), 甚至还有研究发现环境认知水平和绿色消费并没有关联(Almeida, Altintzoglou, Cabral, & Vaz, 2015)。

环境关心(environmental concern)是个体对环境主题的情感评价(Lee, 2008), 是人们意识到环境问题并努力解决这些问题的意愿, 源于消费者的道德信念。绿色消费是个体实现环境关心的一种实践形式(e.g., Newton, Tsarenko, Ferraro, & Sands, 2015; Koenig-Lewis, Palmer, Dermody, & Urbye, 2014)。

3.1 绿色消费环境关心的源起

亲生命假说认为, 从进化角度来讲, 自然环境对人类的生存与繁衍具有重要的适应价值, 人类也具有依附自然的心理倾向(Wilson, 1984)。这种心理倾向在现代人身上仍然保持着。研究发现, 在自然环境(vs.人造环境)中散步一段时间可以有效减少反刍思维, 也会相应减弱前额叶皮质的活性(Bratman, Hamilton, Hahn, Daily, & Gross, 2012)。所以, 人们倾向于接触自然, 而物理上的接触将会增加心理上的联结。

在亲生命假说框架下, Lumber, Richardson和Sheffield (2017)通过实证研究证实了与大自然接触对自然联结的作用, 同时揭示了审美在其中起到中介作用; 此外, 研究者还通过“户外散步”的干预方式促进了个体与自然的联结感。自然联结(nature relatedness)是指个体感到与自然世界联系的紧密程度。对于个体来说, 与自然的联结创造了更广泛归属感, 它超越了人类自身的狭隘, 是对所有生命和无生命对象的尊重和欣赏。伴随着现代社会的工业化进程, 长期以来, 西方社会的主流观点主张人类独立于甚至超越于自然界; 同时, 城市化的进程也让越来越多的人生活在商业集中区, 进一步加剧了人类与大自然分离。于是, 人类社会疯狂地从自然世界中攫取物质资源以提升幸福感, 这导致环境日益恶化、资源难以持续。越来越多研究者开始关注如何重建人类与自然的联结(e.g., Richardson, Hallam, & Lumber, 2015; Richardson & Sheffield, 2016), 因为重建“人与自然的关系”才能有效实现人类社会的可持续发展(Zelenski & Nisbet, 2014), 如Gosling和Williams (2010)研究发现, 自然联结能正向预测农场主的植被保护行为。要实现人与自然之间的联结, 必须将个人的自我概念扩展到自然。

当个体将自然纳入到自我概念中时, 破坏环境无异于伤害自己, 于是就形成了亲环境的价值取向。它是个体基于生态责任感(ecological responsibility)所产生的情感价值观, 体现了消费者的环境关心(Hartmann & Apaolaza-Ibáñez, 2012)。有关亲环境价值取向的研究也在不断细化。Stern, Dietz, Abel, Guagnano和Kalof (1999)研究指出, 生态圈价值观能正向预测私领域的环保行为。Dunlap和Jones (2000)编制了新生态范式(New Ecological Paradigm)量表, 用以测量一般层面上人们的环境价值取向。随着研究的深入, 研究者也开发了与消费行为更直接价值观指标, 即绿色消费观(Haws, Bearden, & Nenkov, 2012)。绿色消费观是指通过购买和消费行为来实现环境保护的一种倾向, 它与个体自然联结感紧密相关, 对绿色消费具有积极影响作用, 它可以用来区分绿色消费者与非绿色消费者(Haws et al., 2012)。

3.2 绿色消费环境关心的表现

在亲环境价值取向驱动下的绿色消费, 是个体内在道德信念的外在表现, 体现了消费者的环境关心。它不同于基于身份建构的绿色消费, 主要表现如下:

(1) 绿色消费的稳定性。基于身份建构的绿色消费具有极大不稳定性, 前期的绿色选择会降低随后的绿色消费; 但基于环境关心的绿色消费则表现出了较高的稳定性。Haws等(2012)研究发现, 绿色消费观与个体绿色消费的日常表现极其显著; 此外, 这些被试来到实验室后, 也倾向于选择环保购物袋而非一包钢笔作为实验报酬。Haws等(2012)的研究说明, 绿色消费者的行为具有较强的稳定性, 不会因为自己实施了绿色消费行为而降低随后的绿色表现。此外, 吴波等(2016)的研究也发现, 具有亲环境价值倾向的个体, 参与环保活动后会依然参与随后的绿色购买。

(2) 态度-行为的一致性。绿色消费态度-行为分离本质上是时间框定效应, 即人们更倾向于在远期而非近期执行“应该”选项(Rogers & Bazerman, 2008), 表现为远期购买意愿高于近期(王财玉, 雷雳, 吴波, 2017; Gupta & Sen, 2013)。所以, 产品环保属性在远期情境中具有更高的决策权重, 比如Fujita, Eyal, Chaiken, Trope和Liberman (2008)研究发现, 在远期购买情景下个体才倾向于选择采用绿色环保材料制作而成的产品。这种时间框定效应导致了态度与行为的分离。然而, 研究发现, 当消费者对产品的环境宣称怀疑较低时, 高环保意识者受到时间框定(购买情境)的影响较小, 即更不易出现态度-行为分离(王财玉, 吴波, 2018)。

(3) 绿色产品的价值感知。消费者倾向于认为伦理价值与个人价值是冲突地(Gupta & Sen, 2013), 产品环保价值的提升往往是以牺牲产品质量为代价的。但为什么依然有消费者购买绿色产品呢?这和价值感知有关。绿色产品价值感知依托于产品的内部和外部线索(de Medeiros, Ribeiro, & Cortimiglia, 2016), 但它具有主观性, 不同消费者绿色产品价值感知不同。绿色消费者会通过增加对产品非环保属性的积极评价, 以提升产品价值感知(Haws et al., 2012); 而价值感知则会直接促进绿色购买(Lam, Lau, & Cheung, 2016)。

(4) 与物质资源使用紧密相关。一方面, 物质主义者更排斥绿色消费。物质主义强调借助对物质财富的占有和消费来体现存在的意义, 但实质上这种价值观念是非常有害的, 它会导致强迫性购买(Zerach, 2016)、环境恶化(Kasser, 2016; Segev, Shoham, & Gavish, 2015), 甚至不道德行为(Gentina, Shrum, & Lowrey, 2016)。所以, 物质主义者更不愿实施绿色消费。另一方面, 绿色消费者更节俭。节俭意味着消费决策中需要较强的自我控制力。对于节俭取向的消费者来说, 购物是经过深思熟虑而非冲动性的结果, 所以绿色消费者具有节俭、自我控制的特点(Haws et al., 2012)。总之, 基于环境关心的绿色消费植根于内部价值系统, 与节俭、自我控制等形成道德联想网络, 在这个网络之内各个部分之间存在着紧密联系。

3.3 道德认同机制

对环境问题的关心是基于人们最普遍的价值取向(Stern et al., 1999), 它建立在利他价值的基础上, 与利他是一致的。Matsuba, Alisat和Pratt (2017)研究证明一般意义上关心和对未来的关心能有效预测(年轻)成年人9年后的环保行为。在道德心理学中, 相关研究支持道德价值观和环保行为之间的关系。例如, Haidt (2012)发表在《科学》上的研究指出, 自由主义者更倾向于成为环境积极分子, 因为他们比保守主义者更支持伤害/关心和公平/互惠的道德规范。所以, 对环境的关心是基于个体对道德的认同。

道德认同(moral identity)是一种相对稳定和持久的特质, 体现了道德在自我认同中的核心程度(Shao, Aquino, & Freeman, 2008)。道德认同是内化的道德规范, 是自我累积和连贯性的结果, 可以普遍地(横向)、持续地(纵向)对个体行为产生重要影响(Clayton & Myers, 2015)。道德认同对道德选择的一致性和稳定性具有决定作用, 它会促使人们做出与道德要求相一致的决策, 并及时制止会违反道德信念的选择(李谷, 周晖, 丁如一, 2013)。道德认同需要个体超越狭隘的利己主义, Jia等(2017)采用Krettenauer, Murua和Jia (2016)道德认同问卷研究发现, 自我超越价值观(Self- Transcendence) (慈悲、普世主义)对环境卷入具有正向的预测作用。道德认同者会有更广泛的道德关怀边界, 不仅利他而且环保, 道德认同能积极促进绿色消费(吴波 等, 2016)。超越了狭隘的自我中心, 那就意味着能认识到人类与非人类同属于一个命运共同体(即自然世界), 道德认同的范围也就会相应扩大, 由社会中他人拓延到整个自然界, 与动物、花草等平等和谐相处。于是, 个体便形成了更为广泛的道德认同。道德认同会提升个体的环保要求, 产生绿色认同, 增加环境亲和力(van der Werff et al., 2014), 促进绿色消费(吴波等, 2016)。产品可以间接反映内在价值系统, 如果产品与绿色信念体系不一致消费者会拒绝购买(Kashima, Paladino, & Margetts, 2014), 反之亦然(Barbarossa, Beckmann, de Pelsmacker, Moons, & Gwozdz, 2015)。

在道德认同机制中, 道德自我反映的是个体特质倾向, 感知到自己是一个有道德的人(而不是感觉到自己成为了一个有道德的人), 基于自我一致性的原则, 他们的绿色选择也会趋于稳定。

4 身份建构还是环境关心?

当绿色环保信息呈现后, 道德自我被启动, 基于环境关心的消费者启动了“我是绿色消费者”的意念, 为了保持自我的一致性, 绿色消费之后还要继续“绿色”; 而基于身份建构的消费者则启动了“我要成为绿色消费者”, 绿色消费之后就意味着自我建构的完成, 消费者便不再“绿色”。

那么, 绿色消费究竟是身份建构还是环境关心呢?道德自我调节机制和道德认同机制主要从一般的道德心理给与了比较充分的解释, 但略显宏观, 更重要的是, 也没有回答这一核心问题。为了更微观、具体地了解绿色消费心理, 我们将依据文献资料做进一步地解析, 以便实现宏观与微观的结合。在阐述相关因素的基础上, 我们将构建基于个体生活方式的绿色消费模型, 从个体差异的视角尝试回答这一问题。

4.1 调节因素

4.1.1 中心位置与次要位置

购买行为是联结自我价值系统的一条途径, 也是自我觉知的一种方式, 因为消费选择往往符合个人根深蒂固的价值观。Carrington等(2014)对此作了研究。对于伦理价值处于中心位置的消费者而言, 在早期阶段他们需要制定购物方案, 但逐渐地形成了与伦理规范相一致的消费习惯, 而习惯会让决策变地自动化(Carrington et al., 2014); 对于他们来说, 如果为了追求价格、奢侈以及享乐而牺牲伦理价值, 他们会感到失调, 所以这类消费者表现出极强的“稳定性”。与之相反的是, 当伦理价值处于次要位置时, 伦理价值并不是核心关注, 虽然也会购买绿色产品, 但这一行为的发生具有偶然性(Carrington et al., 2014); 当再次需要他们牺牲个人利益时, 比如金钱、时间, 他们会迅速远离绿色产品, 导致绿色消费的“波动性”。

4.1.2 内部动机与外部动机

个体参与绿色消费的动机可能是出于外在的印象管理, 也可能是出于内在的环境关心。研究发现, 动机类型会调节“参与环保活动与后续消费行为”的之间关系(吴波 等, 2016)。具体来说, 当个体形成了基于环境关心的内在动机后, 参与保护环境的活动不会降低随后的绿色消费, 这是因为参与环保活动激活了道德自我, 增强了消费者的环保责任感, 从而促进了绿色消费; 但如果个体没有形成内在动机, 参与环保活动会实现道德自我的建构, 进而降低自我道德要求, 增加随后的享乐消费(吴波 等, 2016)。

4.1.3 目标承诺与目标进展

个体将活动当作承诺还是进展会影响到个体的坚持性。以垃圾分类为例, 如果个体将其当作环保目标的进展, 垃圾分类后会心理松懈, 继而停止绿色消费, 甚至可能参与享乐消费; 如果把垃圾分类看作是对环保目标的承诺, 那么他可能会持续绿色。把绿色消费活动看作目标进展还是承诺, 部分取决于他是注意下级目标还是上级目标(Fishbach, Dhar, & Zhang, 2006):如果关注上级目标(以环境为导向, 关注资源和环境的可持续), 消费者会把绿色活动看作承诺, 会继续围绕这一上级目标持续地开展绿色活动。如果个体更关注自身利益(以自我为导向, 关注身份建构), 消费者更可能把行为看作目标进展, 认为在一定程度上已完成, 增加随后享乐消费(吴波 等, 2016)。究竟是关注上级目标还是下级目标呢?亲环境价值取向高的个体更可能将注意放在上级目标上(Miller & Effron, 2010), 也更容易将活动当作目标承诺; 反之亦然, 亲环境价值取向低的个体更可能将注意放在下级目标上, 也更容易将环保活动当作目标进展。

4.1.4 个人利益与社会利益

绿色消费涉及个体利益与社会利益的冲突:绿色产品价格高(Griskevicius et al., 2010), 功效低(Luchs et al., 2010), 与消费习惯不一致(Deng, 2015); 尤为重要的是, 绿色消费的受益者不是个人而是整个社会, 更是长远的未来。然而, 对利益冲突的感知存在个体差异, 会受到消费者价值观念的调节。绿色消费者更可能购买绿色产品, 可以通过动机推理降低产生属性冲突所造成的失调, 比如凸显环保属性的价值(Naylor, Droms, & Haws, 2009), 正面评价非环保属性(Haws et al., 2012)。所以, 对于他们而言, 个人利益与社会利益的冲突感知较弱, 从而增强了绿色消费的稳定性(Haws et al., 2012)。但如果环境保护并不是个人的优先关注对象(处于次要位置), 绿色消费实现自我建构之后, 意味着个人目标的实现, 往往就难以再继续坚持绿色消费, 这是因为消费者没法持续投入认知资源化解利益冲突。

4.2 基于个体生活方式视角的理论整合

人口统计变量是进行市场细分的最常用的方法之一, 但人口统计学变量的预测作用是有限的, 基于个体生活方式的市场细分则越来越受到关注。

生活方式是指从总的和最广泛意义上对个体生活产生影响的一种价值取向。伦理价值会或多或少整合到自我系统中(Krettenauer & Hertz, 2015), 不同消费者也会不同程度地关注产品伦理属性。产品伦理属性是道德原则在消费领域的反映, 这些属性与各种社会问题(如, 雇佣关系)和环境问题(如, 回收利用、避免污染)有关(Luchs et al., 2010)。根据伦理价值在价值系统中的位置, 可以笼统地将消费者分为深绿、浅绿和非绿色消费者, 他们拥有不同的生活方式:对于非绿色消费者来说, 个人利益处于核心位置、伦理价值无关紧要, 会直接排斥绿色消费, 由于非绿色消费者并不关心有关环境保护的问题, 有关这一对象的分析将暂时忽略(进一步讨论可见展望部分)。对于浅绿消费者而言, 个人利益处于核心位置、伦理价值处于次要位置, 环境关心并没有完全内化、只是表层接受, 更可能通过绿色消费表达其道德身份。对于深绿来说, 环境关心已经内化为自我的核心一部分, 占据更为中心的位置, 形成了绿色生活方式。

前文阐述了绿色消费的两个机制, 它们究竟是哪个更起作用呢?对此, 我们将从消费者生活方式的视角来整合绿色消费的心理机制。消费者生活方式不同, 绿色消费的心理机制也不同。道德自我调节机制和道德认同机制并不是对立地, 而是可以互为补充, 只是适应对象存在个体差异。从个体差异的视角来看, 道德认同也有高低, 像一个正态分布, 深绿消费者、浅绿消费者和非绿色消费者反映了个体道德认同的内化程度, 分别对应于道德认同高水平、一般水平和低水平。道德认同理论可以较好地解释深绿消费者和非绿色消费者的表现, 即深绿消费者积极购买、非绿色消费者则坚决排斥。处于道德认同一般水平上的浅绿消费者则表现出更多的策略性、多变性, 如绿色消费之后的偷窃, 道德认同理论则无法予以充分解释。道德自我调节机制则可以很好地解释浅绿消费者的表现:当感知到道德自我较低时就实施绿色消费, 当绿色消费满足了道德自我的建构就允许自己不再“绿色”。但道德自我调节机制却无法揭示一个特殊的消费群体——深绿消费者, 因为他们的绿色消费表现处于比较稳定的状态。所以, 道德认同理论比较适合深绿消费者, 而道德自我调节机制更适合浅绿消费者。

在此基础上, 为了更好地理解深绿和浅绿消费者的差异, 本文将从个体生活方式的视角分析绿色消费的过程。生活方式的差异构成了个体行为差异的基础, 即使个体会偶尔离开已有的生活方式, 但最终还是要重新回归。基于此, 我们构建了一个“三阶段”驱动链条以此区分深绿与浅绿消费者加工的差异:生活方式不同构成了深绿和浅绿消费者差异的基础, 绿色消费过程是个体生活方式的具体体现, 而冲突化解的方式最终导致消费者回归各自已有的生活方式。概念模型可见图1。具体介绍如下:

阶段一:在绿色消费之前, 生活方式的差异构成了绿色消费的背景。价值取向作为一种底色会渗透到个体消费生活的方方面面, 从产品选购, 到日常节约, 再到垃圾处理。对于深绿者来说, 伦理价值处于核心位置, 形成了绿色生活方式, 而绿色生活方式可以在意识层面和潜意识层面影响绿色决策。但对于浅绿消费者, 伦理动机处于次要位置, 个人利益则处于核心位置, 消费者也会偶尔进行一次绿色购买, 但它是其他个人需求没有凸显的结果。

阶段二:绿色消费过程是个体生活方式差异的具体体现。由于绿色消费具有道德属性, 深绿和浅绿消费者都能从绿色消费过程中满足各自需求, 即环境关心和身份建构。浅绿消费者形成了以个人利益为中心的生活方式, 从而衍生出绿色消费的外部动机(身份建构), 将绿色消费当做一种目标进展, 其本质是利己, 满足自我建构的需求, 当自我建构完成之后, 这一工具的价值便不复存在。深绿消费者则形成了以伦理关注为核心的生活方式, 从而衍生出绿色消费的内部动机(环境关心), 将绿色消费当做一种目标承诺。

阶段三:在绿色消费之后, 冲突化解将导致个体回归已有生活方式。绿色消费涉及冲突化解, 冲突化解的能力会影响绿色消费的稳定性。浅绿消费者的生活方式不是以伦理关注为核心的, 并未养成绿色消费习惯, 更倾向于将一次绿色消费活动当做目标进展; 这导致他们很难持续投入认知资源化解决策冲突, 最终会回归以一个人利益为中心的已有生活方式。与之相反的是, 深绿消费者的伦理价值处于核心位置, 养成了绿色消费的习惯(生活方式), 并将绿色消费当做目标承诺; 不仅冲突感知程度较弱, 而且只需要投入较少的认知资源就可以化解决策, 绿色消费之后能够继续绿色, 也将进一步强化已有的绿色生活方式。

图1

图1   基于个体生活方式的绿色消费模式建构


从总体上来看, 道德自我调节现象在绿色消费领域还普遍存在着, 源于环境关心的深绿消费者可能只是一个微小群体。但发现个体差异并不是为了区隔群体, 通过探讨深绿色消费者不同于浅绿色消费者的表现及其机制, 主要是为了促进浅绿到深绿的培育。环境问题的彻底解决, 需要消费者形成基于环境责任的绿色生活方式。只有当个体从一次或几次亲环境行为上升到绿色生活方式的采纳, 从浅绿转换为深绿, 绿色消费才是稳定地、一致地, 才能防止绿色消费之后不再“绿色”。

5 总结与展望

绿色消费是个体亲社会的表现形式, 植根于一般领域的道德自我, 本文从道德自我的视角探讨了绿色消费的两种表现。道德自我存在个体差异, 绿色消费也表现出了极大的复杂性, 在道德自我调节之下一些人绿色消费之后不再绿色, 而另外一些人在道德认同驱动下绿色消费之后依然绿色。为了进一步揭示绿色消费背后的复杂心理, 需要从理论上继续深入以下三个方面研究:

第一, 谁更可能通过绿色产品构建自我?绿色产品具有低流行-高价格的特点(王财玉 等, 2017; Gupta & Sen, 2013)。一方面, 低流行可以彰显独特性。Poon等(2015)研究认为, 只有得到自我肯定之后社会排斥才能让个体敢于坚持对低流行绿色产品的选择。低流行意味着风险, 但也可以彰显独特性, 研究发现, 消费者会故意选择独特产品以突显与他人的不同(Steinhart, Kamins, Mazursky, & Noy, 2014; Wan, Xu, & Ding, 2014)。另一方面, 高价格则可以传递身份信号。绿色产品较高的价格可以传递地位信息, 尤其在公共场合消费时能间接满足地位的需求(Griskevicius et al., 2010)。相对于低社会经济低位者, 高社会经济地位者具有较强的自我肯定(Kraus, Piff, Mendoza-Denton, Rheinschmidt, & Keltner, 2012)。基于此, 我们认为, 高社会经济地位者更可能选择绿色产品(低流行-高价格)构建道德自我, 尤其在遭到社会排斥后。

第二, 环境关心者是否也会“有心无力”?这一问题涉及到绿色消费愿不愿与能不能的问题。绿色消费涉及冲突化解, 这依赖于自我控制资源, 比如垃圾分类对生态环境有利, 但分类的过程则需要耗费个体的认知资源, 所以, 绿色消费会耗费自我控制资源。雪上加霜的是, 现实生活会耗费更多的自我控制资源。在激励的社会竞争中, 个体所承受的工作、经济以及人际等压力也在不断消耗自我控制资源。自我控制资源损耗会引发冲动消费(Trudel & Murray, 2013); 更为重要的是, 它还会降低个体的道德要求, 比如, Mitchell, Baer, Ambrose, Folger和Palmer (2018)研究发现, 绩效压力的感知激发工作场所欺骗行为。环境关心者虽然道德认同水平较高, 但自我控制资源被严重损耗后还能不能实施绿色消费呢?

第三, 非绿色消费消费者背后心理机制是什么?遭到排斥后一些个体会转向环境保护, 通过绿色消费重建自我, 这说明道德还是一个选项; 但也有研究发现, 一些个体在遭到排斥后会表现出极强的物欲, 进而通过购买高地位商品重建自我(e.g., Jiang, Zhang, Ke, Hawk, & Qiu, 2015)。物质主义与绿色消费是相互排斥的, 我们将这类物质主义取向个体归之为非绿色消费者。那么, 他们背后的心理机制是什么呢?研究发现, 道德推脱(Moral Disengagement)可以使道德自我调节功能失效(Bandura, 1999), 并使得个体很容易违反道德规范。基于此, 我们认为, 遭到社会排斥后, 道德推脱者更可能选择物质满足来缓解压力。道德推脱可以让非绿色消费者心安理得地不关心环境问题, 道德自我调节让浅绿消费者摇摆在物质主义与环境保护之间, 而道德认同则让深绿消费者以一贯之地关心环境问题, 三个理论共同支撑起非绿、浅绿以及深绿消费者的选择偏好。其中, 道德推脱对绿色消费的影响尚需研究予以证实。

在现实生活中, 消费者对缓解环境恶化具有重要的作用。随着我国城镇化的加速, 越来越多的人将在城市生活, 与自然的关系也会进一步疏远。提高消费者的环境关心是一个系统工程, 如何标本兼治, 这需要政府、企业以及学校的共同投入。从治标的角度来说, 企业如何有效进行广告说服促进绿色消费; 从治本的角度来说, 则需要提升个体的环境关心。这是因为, 如果消费者只是出于身份建构的动机, 绿色广告即使有效地促进了绿色购买, 但会引发后续的非绿色行为发生, 比如享乐。所以, 从根本上来说, 需要提升个体环境关心、养成绿色生活方式。但我们也需要澄清一个前提, 那就是绿色生活方式和个人福祉是冲突的吗?具体介绍如下:

第一, 如何根据不同的消费动机制定营销策略?作为企业, 促进绿色购买采用最多的是绿色广告干预。但广告说服效果依赖于广告信息与消费者心理的契合度。消费者接触到绿色广告信息后并非是简单地接受, 而是会经过自身的价值系统进行过滤; 如果绿色广告信息与价值取向相冲突, 则会引起心理阻抗。根据本文文献梳理, 我们认为, 广告说服策略可以分作两类:以自我为目标和以环境为目标。对于浅绿消费者而言, 由于个人利益处于核心位置, 道德身份建构的目的仍旧是个人利益, 所以, 广告诉求应从现实因素(质量、价格等)和道德因素(道德身份建构)两个方面共同提升消费者的个人利益感知; 但对于环境关心者则更应该凸显产品在环境保护方面的效用。

第二, 如何提升青少年群体的环境关心而不是身份建构?年轻一代的绿色消费行为具有重要意义, 因为他们是未来社会的工作者、消费者, 更是未来社会的创造者。但Krettenauer (2017)研究发现, 相对于青少年早期和中期, 青少年晚期道德判断的规约性和对自然情感的亲和力都显著下降, 环保行为也相应下降; 从根本上来说, 这可能和青少年伦理价值取向的下降有关(Wray-Lake, Syvertsen, & Flanagan, 2015)。培养个体的绿色生活方式是保护环境的根本举措, 但它的养成不是简单靠媒体宣传、政府引导短时间内所能形成, 更需要通过学校教育进行系统的渗透, 比如, Erdogan (2015)研究发现环境教育能有效提升未成年学生的环保行为。所以, 未来研究应该关注青少年群体的环境关心及其教育策略。

第三, 提升消费者环境关心与个人福祉是冲突的吗?人们似乎认为, 个人幸福和生态环境的可持续是冲突地。为了有一个可持续的生存环境, 人们应刻意减少个人的物质欲望, 这要求人们以牺牲自己的方式来做出一些环保行为(Seegebarth, Peyer, Balderjahn, & Wiedmann, 2016)。但这种对于个人利益和环境利益的权衡可能使一些人不太愿意牺牲自我, 从而降低绿色消费。比如, 消费者为入住高档酒店支付了不菲的价格, 他会认为自己理应享受优质服务, 不愿意牺牲“优质体验”来节约资源; 所以, 高档酒店提示消费者节约用电会降低顾客评价, 并且实际用电量反会增加, 但快捷酒店则没有这种效应(Wang, Krishna, & Mcferran, 2017)。但也有一些研究发现, 绿色消费能够提高个人内在满足感(Verhofstadt, van Ootegem, Defloor, Bleys, 2016), 并能增强生活满意度(Binder & Ann-Kathrin, 2017)。所以, 需要更多心理学相关研究进一步澄清消费者环境关心与个人福祉的关系, 从而更好助推绿色社会的发展。

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It is argued that the temporal distance of attitude objects systematically changes how the object is mentally represented, and thus influences the strength of particular persuasive appeals. Three experiments tested the hypothesis that people preferentially attend to arguments that highlight primary, abstract (high-level) vs. incidental, concrete (low-level) features when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near. Results suggested that when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near, arguments emphasizing primary vs. secondary features (Study 1), desirability vs. feasibility features (Study 2), and general classes vs. specific cases are more persuasive (Study 3). The relation of construal theory to dual process theories of persuasion and persuasion phenomena, such as personal relevance effects and functional matching effects, are discussed.

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Consumers are less likely to buy ethical products than their stated intentions in marketplace polls, due at least in part to the distinct temporal frames guiding their poll responses versus actual purchase decisions. We propose that as consumers' beliefs about the synergy between the resources a firm devotes to their ethical and functional attributes evolve, as part of the broader ethical marketing/corporate social responsibility movement, from negative to positive, this discrepancy between intentions and behavior is likely to disappear. Two studies provide support for this basic contention, implicating the importance consumers ascribe to a brand's ethical attribute as the driver of the temporal frame- and resource synergy beliefs-based differences in their preference for that brand. (C) 2012 Society for Consumer Psychology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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The current study sought to extend the theory of planned behavior (TPB), which is rooted in the theory of reasoned action (TRA), to more comprehensively explain the formation of customers’ intention to revisit a green hotel. In particular, the extended TPB incorporates the critical constructs in the consumer behavior and marketing literature (i.e., service quality, customer satisfaction, overall image, and frequency of past behavior) into the original TPB model. Results of a structural analysis revealed that the new model provides a better fit with the data, and explains significantly greater amounts of variance in revisit intention in comparison to the TRA and TPB. Added constructs in the new model considerably contribute to improve our understanding of the complicated process of green hotel customers’ decision-making. In this study, all relationships appeared to be significant as conceptualized according to the theory. In addition, a mediating effect of satisfaction and attitude was found. The article includes discussions on theoretical and managerial implications.

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This paper suggests that advertising campaigns directed at increasing consumer demand for green energy should emphasize not only environmental concern and utilitarian benefits, but also psychological brand benefits. The theoretical framework proposes three distinct psychological benefit categories potentially enhancing consumer attitudes toward green energy brands and increasing purchase intentions: warm glow, self-expressive benefits, and nature experiences. A sample of 726 consumers was exposed to experimental advertisements for a fictitious green energy brand. Findings confirm most predicted effects and underline the overall significance of psychological brand benefits. Only self-expressive benefits do neither affect participants' attitudes toward the experimental brand nor their purchase intentions. Nature experience has the strongest influence on brand attitude. Multi-group structural analysis shows that the nature experiences level evoked by the advertisements moderates the effects of the behavioral antecedents studied on brand attitude and purchase intention. The findings provide keys to improving green energy branding and advertising strategy. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Decision making related to finances is of significant importance. A major factor underlying financial decision making involves differences in consumers' spending self-control (CSSC). We conceptualize CSSC as an individual difference, distinct from general self-control, develop a parsimonious measure to assess it, and demonstrate important related consequences and behaviors. Further, we examine how underlying differences in CSSC impact the effectiveness of a self-control strategy that has recently received attention in public policy legislation-enhancing consumers' awareness of the future consequences of present behavior through the provision of outcome elaboration prompts. Results from our studies suggest that outcome elaboration prompts (that is, external stimuli used to encourage consumers to consider the future outcomes of their present decisions) differentially impact consumers' self-control effectiveness depending on their inherent CSSC. Specifically, the presence of outcome elaboration prompts enhances self-control for low CSSC consumers, but does not affect the choices of high CSSC consumers. Furthermore, we provide direct evidence that it is a differential focus on future outcomes that drives the distinct responses of high- versus low-CSSC consumers to the provision of outcome elaboration prompts.

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When people's deeply ingrained need for social connection is thwarted by social exclusion, profound psychological consequences ensue. Despite the fact that social connections and consumption are central facets of daily life, little empirical attention has been devoted to understanding how belongingness threats affect consumer behavior. In four experiments, we tested the hypothesis that social exclusion causes people to spend and consume strategically in the service of affiliation. Relative to controls, excluded participants were more likely to buy a product symbolic of group membership (but not practical or self-gift items), tailor their spending preferences to the preferences of an interaction partner, spend money on an unappealing food item favored by a peer, and report being willing to try an illegal drug, but only when doing so boosted their chances of commencing social connections. Overall, results suggest that socially excluded people sacrifice personal and financial well-being for the sake of social well-being.

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Many companies offer products with social benefits that are orthogonal to performance (e. g., green products). The present studies demonstrate that information about a company's intentions in designing the product plays an import role in consumers' evaluations. In particular, consumers are less likely to purchase a green product when they perceive that the company intentionally made the product better for the environment compared to when the same environmental benefit occurred as an unintended side effect. This result is explained by consumers' lay theories about resource allocation: intended (vs. unintended) green enhancements lead consumers to assume that the company diverted resources away from product quality, which in turn drives a reduction in purchase interest. The present studies also identify an important boundary condition based on the type of enhancement and show that the basic intended (vs. unintended) effect generalizes to other types of perceived tradeoffs, such as healthfulness and taste.

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This article proposes an expanded conceptualization of materialism that grounds materialism in research on the self. The article stresses the functions of materialistic goal pursuit, the processes by which these functions are developed and implemented, and their potential consequences. This functional perspective views materialistic behavior as motivated goal pursuit intended to construct and maintain self-identity, and defines materialism as the extent to which people engage in identity maintenance and construction through symbolic consumption. The article discusses the utility of this conceptualization of materialism in relation to other conceptualizations and suggests avenues for future research. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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This research shows in a series of studies that exposing consumers to functional products evokes the naive theory of popularity, whereas exposing them to self-expressive products induces belief in the naive theory of exclusivity. The research further demonstrates that when the naive theory elicited by product type is matched by the appropriate contextual purchasing cues regarding the interest of others, it results in greater purchase intentions than when those cues are mismatched. The research specifies that the matching effect for functional products is mediated by consumers' perceptions of product quality, whereas mediation for self-expressive products occurs through consumers' self-perceptions regarding the extent to which the product conveys uniqueness. Finally, the research illustrates that an explicit signal of product quality (e.g., a favorable rating in Consumer Reports) attenuates the effect associated with the contextual cues regarding the interest of others. (C) 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Three studies examined generational differences in life goals, concern for others, and civic orientation among American high school seniors (Monitoring the Future; N = 463,753, 1976-2008) and entering college students (The American Freshman; N = 8.7 million, 1966-2009). Compared to Baby Boomers (born 1946-1961) at the same age, GenX'ers (born 1962-1981) and Millennia Is (born after 1982) considered goals related to extrinsic values (money, image, fame) more important and those related to intrinsic values (self-acceptance, affiliation, community) less important. Concern for others (e.g., empathy for outgroups, charity donations, the importance of having a job worthwhile to society) declined slightly. Community service rose but was also increasingly required for high school graduation over the same time period. Civic orientation (e.g., interest in social problems, political participation, trust in government, taking action to help the environment and save energy) declined an average of d = -.34, with about half the decline occurring between GenX and the Millennia Is. Some of the largest declines appeared in taking action to help the environment. In most cases, Millennia Is slowed, though did not reverse, trends toward reduced community feeling begun by GenX. The results generally support the "Generation Me" view of generational differences rather than the "Generation We" or no change views.

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A strong environmental self-identity increases the likelihood of a wide range of proenvironmental actions. But which factors influence identity and can we strengthen it? We propose that the environmental self-identity depends on biospheric values and on past behavior and that the strength of one's environmental self-identity can be changed somewhat by reminding people of their past environmental behavior. We tested our model in a series of studies and show that biospheric values and past environmental behavior influence the environmental self-identity, which is in turn related to subsequent environmental judgments and intentions. Furthermore, we found that although the strength of the environmental self-identity changed when we reminded people of their past environmental actions, biospheric values remained an important predictor of self-identity, suggesting that the environmental self-identity has a stable core. Our results further suggest that environmental-friendly behavior can be promoted by reminding people of their past proenvironmental actions as this will strengthen one's environmental self-identity.

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Subjective connection with nature, or nature relatedness, is similar to other environmental worldview measures in predicting sustainable attitudes and behaviors, yet is unique in predicting happiness. In two studies, the authors assessed the overlap between nature relatedness and other subjective connections (e.g., with friends or country) and examined these connections as a possible confound in explaining the link between nature relatedness and happiness. Study 1 adapted a measure of general connectedness and administered it to student (n = 331) and community (n = 415) samples along with multiple nature relatedness and happiness indicators. Study 2 examined more established measures of subjective connections in another community sample (n = 204). General connectedness predicted happiness well, yet nature relatedness remained a significant distinct predictor of many happiness indicators, even after controlling for other connections. Results support the notion that nature relatedness could be a path to human happiness and environmental sustainability, though confirming this causal direction requires additional research.

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The mediating role of emptiness and materialism in the association between pathological narcissism and compulsive buying

International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,14(4), 424-437.

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