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Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?

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Posted April 25, 2014

Whether it’s recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products, guilt can be a strong motivator—not just on Earth Day.

Now, research from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business published in the Journal of Business Ethics, proves that even just asking ourselves, or predicting, whether we will engage in sustainable shopping behaviour can increase the likelihood of following through—especially when there’s an audience.

Lead author, marketing professor Onur Bodur explains that, “this is because asking people to predict whether they will undertake a certain behaviour increases their probability of actually doing so. It’s what’s called the ‘self-prophecy effect.’ Our research shows that that effect is even stronger for a person who defines him or herself by social ties and peer opinions.”

The study demonstrates how the self-prophecy effect can be used as a marketing technique to increase shoppers’ preference for environmentally friendly products. “While the self-prophecy effect has been applied in a consumer context before, our study is the first to examine whether it can actually make buyers more sustainability-conscious,” notes Bodur.

Bodur and Concordia co-authors, Kimberly Duval and Bianca Grohmann, showed consumers an ad asking them whether they would purchase products.

Read more at: Phys.org

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