Generally, a majority of consumers support the idea of purchasing green products,. However, this is often not translated in actual behaviour. We argue that there is a trade-off between the influence of product attributes on purchasing decisions, whereby it is assumed that consumers tend to focus on egoistic product characteristics first, followed by green product characteristics. In two experimental studies (N=100 and N=107) we find support for this reasoning: if product attributes fulfil self-serving motives (low price, familiar or well-known brand) green product attributes (cruelty free and low environmental impact) influence purchasing intentions more than when self-serving motives are not fulfilled (high price, unfamiliar or unknown brand). Further, we investigated if and how values weaken or strengthen the influence of product attributes on purchasing intentions. We conclude that biospheric values steer how product attributes influence purchasing intentions stronger than egoistic values. In line with our expectations, we find that if biospheric values are weak, egoistic product attributes are more influential, whereas if biopheric values are strong green product attributes are more influential.
Schuitema, G., & De Groot, J. I. M. (2015). Green consumerism: the influence of product attributes and values on purchasing intentions. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 14(1), 57-69. https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1501