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.
Essa última frase aí dá muito o que pensar.
This would seem to point to another advantage for price-oriented environmental policies like carbon taxes. They’re likely to be more effective, because they rely on price signals rather than altruism to generate reductions in the environmental impact of consumer purchases. And because they don’t rely on altruism, consumers may be less likely to compensate for their greenness by being more ethically indulgent elsewhere.
Sobre o mesmo estudo o The Guardian escreve:
According to a study, when people feel they have been morally virtuous by saving the planet through their purchases of organic baby food, for example, it leads to the “licensing [of] selfish and morally questionable behaviour”, otherwise known as “moral balancing” or “compensatory ethics”.
“Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours”
Dieter Frey, a social psychologist at the University of Munich, said the findings fitted patterns of human behaviour. “At the moment in which you have proven your credentials in a particular area, you tend to allow yourself to stray elsewhere,” he said.