Understanding the desire for green consumption: Norms, emotions, and attitudes


Building on goal-directed behavior premises, this article sets out to develop a framework for explaining why consumers desire green products. Informed by a qualitative study exploring critical consumption incidents, the new model of green goal-directed behaviors (MGGB) presents a unique approach, tested empirically through a survey on the sustainable food consumption of 474 U.S. consumers. By combining the effects of pro-environmental and self-oriented motivations, the MGGB achieved a superior fit and predictive power compared to rival frameworks. Structural equation modeling results unveiled the salient role of personal norms, associated with affective and evaluative mechanisms. The important function of social and cognitive aspects is also revealed. The novel approach taken herein overcomes the limitations of rational theories, by introducing new processes, and showing how their contingency on outcome expectancies and consumer involvement regulates the arousal of green consumption desires. Important considerations are derived for theory development, future research, and marketing practice.

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