Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.668759
Title: Of morals and scents : how consumers' physical sensation of cleanliness affects their evaluations of green products
Author: Hsu, Jen-Hsien
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 0091
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
In this research, the researcher examines the capability of consumers’ physical sensation of cleanliness in influencing their subsequent green product evaluation in line with the embodied cognition paradigm. According to the literature, there are two possible cognitive effects that can be elicited by consumers’ physical sensation of cleanliness: to perceive the sensory information that indicates cleaning effectiveness and to inflate their sense of moral superiority. Yet, it has not been studied whether these effects can simultaneously be elicited and can both influence consumers’ subsequent evaluations of green products. Furthermore, it has been indicated in the green marketing literature that consumers tend to express different levels of product attractiveness on the same green product due to the perspective difference (how attractive this green product is to me and how attractive I perceive this green product is to other consumers). This evaluation difference implies that consumers might set different priorities, to go for cleaning effectiveness or to go green, in the way they make different aspects of green product evaluation. There is also a need of further studies to examine this underlying mechanism. To conclude, this research is designed to contribute both consumer decision making and green marketing literature regarding (1) the co-existence of the two possible cognitive effects that consumers’ physical sensation of cleanliness can have on their subsequent product evaluations and (2) further insight with respect to the nature of consumers green product evaluations. Three experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses. The results indicated that consumers’ physical sensation of cleanliness can simultaneously make them perceive the sensory information that indicates product effectiveness and inflate their sense of moral superiority. The perceived sensory information that indicate cleaning effectiveness had a negative and significant impact on how participants rated the attractiveness of the green product to themselves compared to its non-green counterpart. The inflated sense of moral superiority had a negative and significant impact on how they perceived the green product would be relatively attractive to other consumers compared to its non-green counterpart. With respect to the evaluation gap between how the green product was attractive to me compared to how it would be to other consumers, an interaction effect was found between the perceived sensory information that indicates cleaning effectiveness and the inflated sense of moral superiority. Specifically, the inflated sense of moral superiority positively significantly influenced this evaluation gap under the condition of low levels of the perceived sensory information that indicates cleaning effectiveness. This thesis is an attempt to advance both the green marketing and consumer decision making literature by demonstrating two possible cognitive effects that consumers’ physical sensation of cleanliness can have in their thinking process, by examining how these two effects can influence consumers’ subsequent green product evaluation and by providing further insights regarding the nature of consumers’ green product evaluations. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are suggested.
Supervisor: Brakus, Joško ; Presi, Caterina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.668759  DOI: Not available
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