March 16, 2010
So it’s true: as some of us have suspected all along, Greens really are much more insidiously evil than the rest of the human race. All that eco-righteousness, all that ostentatious recycling and non-disposable-nappy-washing, all that more-healthily-flatulent-than-thou pulse-scoffing, all that “ooh-get-me-I-never-fly-unless-I-have-to-because-I-read-somewhere-that-Carbon-Footprints-are-like-really-bad-for-Mother-Gaia” (Yes that means YOU, Hannan) – it’s all just a cloak of sanctimony used to hide the rancid mass of pullulating vileness beneath.
Greens steal more than non-Greens; they are more likely to cheat and lie. And it’s not me making this up here. We’re talking hard scientific fact. Way harder than anything you’d find in, say, the Fourth IPCC Assessment report. See for yourself. It’s in The Guardian.
Do Green Products Make Us Better People is published in the latest edition of the journal Psychological Science. Its authors, Canadian psychologists Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong, argue that people who wear what they call the “halo of green consumerism” are less likely to be kind to others, and more likely to cheat and steal. “Virtuous acts can license subsequent asocial and unethical behaviours,” they write.
The pair found that those in their study who bought green products appeared less willing to share with others a set amount of money than those who bought conventional products. When the green consumers were given the chance to boost their money by cheating on a computer game and then given the opportunity to lie about it – in other words, steal – they did, while the conventional consumers did not. Later, in an honour system in which participants were asked to take money from an envelope to pay themselves their spoils, the greens were six times more likely to steal than the conventionals.
Mazar and Zhong said their study showed that just as exposure to pictures of exclusive restaurants can improve table manners but may not lead to an overall improvement in behaviour, “green products do not necessarily make for better people”. They added that one motivation for carrying out the study was that, despite the “stream of research focusing on identifying the ‘green consumer’”, there was a lack of understanding into “how green consumption fits into people’s global sense of responsibility and morality and [how it] affects behaviours outside the consumption domain”.
This article was posted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 5:06 am