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The green halo: Mechanisms and limits of the eco-label effect
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7584-2275
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology. University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)
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2015 (English)In: Food Quality and Preference, ISSN 0950-3293, E-ISSN 1873-6343, Vol. 43, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Consumers believe that “eco-labeled” products taste better, which, at least in part, may be an effect of the label. The purpose of the current series of experiments was to examine some mechanisms and limits of this eco-label effect. In Experiment 1, an eco-label effect of similar magnitude was found for taste ratings of both conventional and organic bananas. Experiment 2 showed eco-label effects for a wider range of judgmental dimensions (i.e., health, calories, vitamins/minerals, mental performance, and willingness to pay) and the effect was about the same in magnitude for judgments of grapes and raisins. Experiment 3, with water as the tasted product, found no eco-label effect on judgments of taste, calories and vitamins/minerals, but an effect on willingness to pay, judgments of health benefits and judgments of mental performance benefits. Experiments 2 and 3 also included questionnaires on social desirability traits, schizotypal traits and pro-environmental consumer traits. The last was the strongest predictor of the eco-label effect amongst the three. In all, the eco-label effect is a robust phenomenon, but depends on interactions between product type and judgmental dimension. Implications for several accounts of the effect are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 43, p. 1-9
Keywords [en]
Eco-label effect; Organic; Eco-friendly; Social desirability; Schizotypy; Pro-environmental consumer behavior
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-18902DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2015.02.001ISI: 000353736300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84923055710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-18902DiVA, id: diva2:785061
Available from: 2015-02-02 Created: 2015-02-02 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Psychological consequences of moral labelling in the built environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychological consequences of moral labelling in the built environment
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change is strongly linked to human behavior and technologies, and many of the barriers to sustainable behavior are rather psychological than technological. More sustainable technologies and food products have been introduced to combat climate change, most often labeled with morally loaded labels such as “organic” or “environmentally friendly”. The purpose of this thesis was, first, to gain knowledge into the psychological consequences of the introduction of eco-friendly technologies in the built environment, specifically how labeling these products “eco-friendly” influences perception and performance; secondly, to identify underlying psychological mechanisms and limits of this eco-label effect. Study 1 showed that participants generally prefer the taste of consumables labeled eco-friendly compared to conventional labeled alternatives, but the study also found that the label-effect is limited to certain products and certain judgmental dimensions. Results in this study also showed that people believe that eco-labeled products have positive effects on mental abilities. In Study 2 and 3, the focus was to study the effects of eco-labeling in the built environment on performance in cognitively demanding tasks, such as color discrimination and proofreading. At this point, the eco-label effect had been shown across a wide range of products like food, water, and office technologies, and been generalized to a wide range of judgmental dimensions and behaviors (i.e. taste, nutrition health benefits, comfortableness, and mental performance). In Study 4, results showed that eco-labeling can have effects also on behavior that arguably have very little to do with the labeling itself, by showing that social perception of photographed persons can also depend on the labeling of desktop lamps. A consistent finding across the studies was also that individual differences in environmental concern modulated the magnitude of the effect. The magnitude was larger in people with higher concern for the environment.

Abstract [sv]

Klimatförändringen har en stark koppling till mänskligt beteenden och teknologiska lösningar. En stor del av det som hindrar den hållbar utveckling är mer psykologiska än tekniska till sin natur. Många hållbara tekniska lösningar och livsmedelsprodukter har införts för att bekämpa klimatförändringar, ofta märkta med moraliskt laddade etiketter som "ekologiska" eller "miljövänliga". Syftet med den här avhandlingen var att bringa mer kunskap om de psykologiska konsekvenserna av införandet av miljövänliga teknologiska lösningar i den byggda miljön, mer specifikt, hur perception och prestation påverkas av att märka dessa produkter som miljövänliga. Ytterligare var syftet att identifiera underliggande psykologiska mekanismer och begränsningar gällande eco-label effekten. Studie 1 visar att deltagare oftast föredrar smaken av produkter som är märkta miljövänliga jämfört med konventionellt märkta alternativ, men studien har också fastställt att eco-label effekten är begränsad till vissa produkter och bedömningsdimensioner. Resultatet i Studie 1 visade också att människor tror att miljömärkta produkter har positiva effekter på mentala förmågor. I Studie 2 och 3 var fokus på att studera effekterna av miljömärkning i den byggda miljön på prestationer i kognitiva uppgifter, såsom färgdiskriminering och korrekturläsning. Effekten av miljömärkning har visats gälla för ett brett spektrum av produkter som mat, vatten och kontorsmaterial och kan generaliseras till ett brett spektrum av bedömningsdimensioner och beteenden (dvs. smak, hälsofördelar, bekvämlighet och mentala prestationer). I Studie 4 framgår det också att miljömärkning kan ha effekt på beteende som har mycket lite att göra med miljömärkningen i sig, genom att visa att sociala bedömningar av fotograferade personer också kan bero på etikettering av skrivbordslampor. Konsekvent över studierna var också att individuella skillnader i miljöoro modulerade effektens storlek. Effekten var störst för de med störst oro för miljön.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2018. p. 32
Series
Studies in the Research Profile Built Environment. Doctoral thesis ; 5
Keywords
Eco-label effect, performance, perception, judgment, moral labels, social judgement, lamp, label, miljöetiketteringseffekt, prestation, perception, bedömning, moraliska etiketter, sociala bedömningar, lampor, etikett
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-25978 (URN)978-91-88145-19-2 (ISBN)978-91-88145-20-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-07, Lilla Jadwigasalen 12:108, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-13 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Sörqvist, PatrikHaga, AndreasLangeborg, LindaHolmgren, MattiasWallinder, MariaNöstl, AnatoleMarsh, John

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