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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Sigal Tifferet, Niv Rosenblit and Maya Shalev

People engage in green consumption for many reasons, both conscious and unconscious. This paper aims to draw on evolutionary psychology to propose that hard-wired mating…

Abstract

Purpose

People engage in green consumption for many reasons, both conscious and unconscious. This paper aims to draw on evolutionary psychology to propose that hard-wired mating strategies encourage both men and women to increase their green consumption in the presence of members of the opposite sex.

Design/methodology/approach

Observations were conducted on 324 students who purchased cold drinks in disposable cups from a college café. The students were offered the choice of adding 20 cents to their purchase for a bio-degradable cup.

Findings

Overall, 160 students agreed to pay the premium for a bio-degradable cup, with green purchases 46 per cent higher among women and 61 per cent higher among men when facing a cashier of the opposite sex.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that the activation of mating cues prompts students to display prosocial, altruistic behavior and/or to engage in conspicuous consumption (i.e. agreeing to pay more for the sustainable product). The study was conducted in the field using naïve participants and demonstrates the application of evolutionary psychology to green marketing. It also adds to what is a surprisingly small literature on the effect of employee–customer gender mismatch.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Heather Marie Schulz

This paper aims to analyse reference group influence through the imagined audience construct of the role theory. Prior research has shown the influential nature of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse reference group influence through the imagined audience construct of the role theory. Prior research has shown the influential nature of reference groups on an individuals’ behaviour. The studied theatrical metaphor supplies a new perspective to the social phenomenon of reference group dynamics in consumer behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty face-to-face interviews were conducted utilizing a naturalistic research study design. The interviews took place in the participants’ homes, and participants were asked to create five outfits for various social situations. Then, the participants were asked about the outfits they created, and how that outfit aided in their role preparation process. An inductive analysis of the data resulted in narrative themes that align with several role theory constructs.

Findings

The consumer role rehearsal narratives that emerged describe the process individuals go through for anticipated social interactions. Depending on the social situation, role theory constructs such as role expectations, role location, role learning and role skill were highlighted. The imagined audience of various reference groups do impact the individual’s future behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

Future researchers could apply additional role theory constructs not only to reference groups but also to other aspects of consumer behaviour as well.

Originality/value

This paper supplies a role theory framework that can be used by future researchers when studying reference group influence on consumer behaviour.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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