Journal article

Feeling Good by Doing Good: A Selfish Motivation for Ethical Choice

R Trudel, J Klein, S Sen, N Dawar

Journal of Business Ethics | Springer Verlag | Published : 2020


This paper examines the question of why consumers engage in ethical consumption. The authors draw on self-affirmation theory to propose that the choice of an ethical product serves a self-restorative function. Four experiments provide support for this assertion: a self-threat increases consumers’ choice of an ethical option, even when the alternative choice is objectively superior in quantity (Study 1) and product quality (Study 2). Further, restoring self-esteem through positive feedback eliminates this increase in ethical choice (Studies 2 and 3). As an additional test of the robustness of our results, a final study examined the effect of self-threat on choice in a field setting (Study 4)...

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers