Social value orientation and conspicuous conservation: A moderated mediation analysis

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Yoon Y. Cho
Cite this article:  Cho, Y. (2021). Social value orientation and conspicuous conservation: A moderated mediation analysis. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 49(6), e10206.


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Conspicuous conservation is hard to explain using conventional altruistic theories. In this study I explored whether the relationship between environmental behaviors and proself value was mediated by public self-awareness. Further, I examined the moderating effect of social visibility in the direct and indirect relationship between a proself social value orientation and environmentally beneficial purchasing behavior. Participants in the study were two groups who were presented with two products that had different levels of social visibility. The results demonstrate that proself value was positively related to environmentally beneficial purchasing behavior both directly and also indirectly through public self-awareness. In addition, when consumption of the product was socially visible, the relationship between proself value and environmentally beneficial purchase was strengthened. These findings imply that when product consumption has a high level of social visibility, emphasizing the psychological benefits for the consumer could be an effective persuasive technique in promoting green consumerism.

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