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

Theresa E. DiDonato, Brittany K. Jakubiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

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)
Pages (from-to)8-27
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume156
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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