Distinct impacts of financial scarcity and natural resource scarcity on sustainable choices and motivations
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Journal of Consumer Behaviour
The current study examined how financial scarcity and natural resource scarcity independently and interactively influence sustainable choices and motivations. Participants performed a shopping task where they chose between sustainable and conventional products, and rated their motivations for their choice. We found that financial scarcity reduced sustainable product choices, lowered pro-environmental motivations, but increased motivations to save financial costs (Experiment 1). In contrast, perceived scarcity of natural resources (i.e., water) increased sustainable choices and pro-environmental motivations (Experiment 2). By combining financial and water scarcity, we further replicated and highlighted the distinct impacts of financial scarcity and water scarcity on sustainable choices and motivations (Experiment 3). Our results suggest that the abundance of financial resources or perceived natural resource scarcity can increase green consumer choices and motivations. The findings provide implications for environmental initiatives and campaigns to promote sustainable choices for people with different socio-economic backgrounds and different levels of environmental resources.
Sachdeva, Sonya; Zhao, Jiaying. 2020. Distinct impacts of financial scarcity and natural resource scarcity on sustainable choices and motivations. Journal of Consumer Behaviour. 15 p. https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.1819.