Sustainable Decisions Signal Sustainable Relationships: How Purchasing Decisions Affect Perceptions and Romantic Attraction

Theresa E. DiDonato, Brittany Jakubiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


In the pursuit of love, individuals strategically use luxury products to signal status and other attractive attributes. Might eco-friendly products also signal mate-relevant information? The current research examined inferences from eco-friendly purchases and how they predict perceived suitability for short- and long-term romantic relationships. Participants read descriptions of a stranger’s eco-friendly or luxury purchase decisions, reported their perceptions of the purchaser, and indicated their potential romantic interest in the purchaser. The influence of the relative price of the chosen product was also investigated. Compared to luxury purchasers, eco-friendly purchasers were ascribed greater warmth, competence, and good partner traits, but less physical appeal, and they were preferred for long-term but not short-term relationships. The social costs and benefits of “going green” are discussed in light of their implications for environmental sustainability efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 22 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • attraction
  • environment
  • evolutionary psychology
  • perceptions
  • pro-social behavior
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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