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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Being green for the sake of me or others? The moderating role of private/public self-consciousness on the effectiveness of normative information on consumers’ green choices

Published: May 27, 2020


Yuanyuan Zhou, University of Strathclyde; Juliette Wilson, University of Strathclyde; Maria Karampela, University of Strathclyde


Norms; Self-consciousness; Greener choice


This research aims to understand how normative mechanisms facilitate greener choices, and how individual differences influence the strength of this effect. Results from two experimental studies reveal that the effectiveness of three types of normative information (personal, descriptive, injunctive) depends on the activation of private/public self-consciousness. Specifically, Study 1 reveals that when private self-consciousness is not activated, providing to consumers information relating to personal norms is more effective in eliciting their green preference, which subsequently increases the likelihood of them making a greener choice. Study 2 reveals that when public self-consciousness is not activated, providing consumers with information relating descriptive and injunctive norms is more effective in directly encouraging them to make a greener choice. The research discusses theoretical contributions and implications about the design of marketing communications and informational prompts.