Dr Iain Black - Consuming less and having the same (SLRG Seminar - Feb 2013)Presentation Transcript
Consuming less and having the same: Consumer responses to scarcity Dr Iain Black
Structure1.Consuming less and having the same: Consumerresponses to scarcity The “Chocolate Experiments” – ““How full am I? That depends on how much I think I’m going to get: Consumer adjustment of satiation rates”.2.Recycling: Yes but caring for my loved ones first!Exploring Identity Conflicts amongst “Green”Working Mothers Conference paper to be presented at ISDRS Cape Town 2013
Sustainable Consumption Despite the two Earth Summits at Rio and Johannesburg, the publication of corporate environmental or sustainability strategies becoming commonplace, and the launch of many innovative greener products, environmental and economic data demonstrate that the majority of trends continue to move away from sustainability.” (Peattie and Peattie, 2009, p. 260) “much of the responsibility for cutting carbon rests with us as consumers. Our perception of the climate change problem and willingness to adjust to a low carbon lifestyle also needs to be researched. Focus on the Future, p14
From Consumer abundance
Resource and environmentalScarcity
Scarcity and Abundance asMDG issues
Scarcity and SD messages
Scarcity as a retail tactic
How full am I? That depends onhow much I thought I was goingto get: Consumer adjustment ofsatiation rates.Iain BlackCharles Areni (University of Sydney)
Overall Aim of Research Project: This research aimed to develop a theory of how satiation and expectations about consumption opportunities in the immediate future, influence the enjoyment of present consumption experiences.• We have studied both Scarce and Abundant consumption opportunities
Conceptual DevelopmentHow do consumers respond to scarcity?•One of the most basic principles of consumption is satiation (McAlister 1982).•A number of factors affect the rate at which we satiate: –Physical Factors: Consumption quantity and physical capacity –Psychological Factors: Social norms (Rozin et al. 1998; McFerran et al. 2010) Ease of consumption (Wansink, Painter and Lee 2006) Perceived variety (Redden 2008; Galak, Redden and Kruger 2009) Perceived consumption quantity (Raghubir and Krishna 1999) Monitoring of consumption quantity (Polivy et al., 1986; Wansink 2004)
Conceptual Development cont..•Utility of current versus delayed consumption –Often conflict between maximizing present versus future utility (Hoch and Loewenstein 1991) A given factor i.e. variety can affect present and future utility in opposite directions (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999)•Savoring: –Is a focusing of attention on the sensory input of consumption experience (Bryant 2003) “heightened awareness” that “makes us more fully conscious of the pleasurable things we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste” (Bryant and Veroff 2007, p. 6)
Study One:Relationship between Scarcity, Savouring and Satiation Research Question: Does Scarcity trigger Savouring and effect satiation?• Hypothesis• Compared to those who are told after eating, those who know before eating that will receive only 2 of 6 pieces will: • H1: Eat more slowly, • H2: Will be more satiated and • H3: Will desire fewer additional pieces• Independent variable:• Scarcity signaled or not:• Dependent Variables: • Eating time, • Satiation levels • Desire for additional pieces N=39 (31 female)
Procedure Expect 6 Receive 2 Told before or after
Results:Those anticipating scarcity… DV Sig Means•Ate more slowly Tasting time: F1,27 = 2.08, n/s Piece one p < .16 –H1•Were fuller Tasting time: F1,27 = 9.04, M = 57.50 vs. –H2 Piece Two p < .01 M = 22.54.•Had less desire for Capacity for F1,27 = 7.52, M = 5.10 vs.additional pieces additional pieces: p < .01 M = 6.63. –H3 Desire to eat more F1,27 = 7.92, M = 2.10 vs. chocolate: p < .01 M = 4.08.
Study two: –Is effect caused by violating desired number vs. expected number? Manipulations suggest Expectations, theory suggest Wants. –Interested to testing key theoretical finding via Abundance
Study Two Independent variable: Scarcity/Abundance signaled or not: Before they start eating vs. After 2nd piece Dependent Variables: How many of the chocolates do they Desire/Want (measured before plate of chocs) Overall tasting time Capacity for additional pieces Number of pieces eaten N= 151 (109 female)
Study Two Expect 6 Told Receive 2 Receive 6 or before or after s ition ond or c ityControl condition S carc Expect 2 Told Receive 2 Receive 6 before or after n o n diti l co or Abundance conditions Contro Measure Desire/Want first before expectations set up
Study Two results Signaling scarcity before eating group ate more slowly and became satiated more quickly Replicates studies 1. Opposite effects occur when participants receive more pieces of chocolate than expected. – Signaling abundance before eating group ate more quickly and became satiated more slowly Distinguishes between Expectation and Desire: – Eating time: Expectations: Main effect (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig) Desire: Neither Main effect nor Interaction effect (desired quantity x expected) were significant (F1,136 < 1) – Capacity for more: Main effect for Expectations (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig) If you get less than expected you are fuller after having eaten Main effect for Desire F1,66 = 9.45, p < .005, Sig, but no interaction between the two (Expectations and Desires)
Discussion and Contribution –Main Experimental Result: Being warned that you will get less than expected leads to eating more slowly, consuming “more” per unit of consumption and being more satiated –Main Theoretical Contribution: Present and Future selves co-operate Linking research streams in Satiation (Galak, Redden and Kruger 2009) , Savouring (Bryant and Veroff 2007) and Consumer trade offs between current and delayed consumption (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999)
Key Practical SD Contributions What portion sizes, packaging and communications decisions can firms make in order to satisfy the desires of their consumers whilst simultaneously protecting both the environment and society (hence to follow a TBL accounting approach)? How to signal reduced sizes Scarcity and Quality How to sell to your consumers where resources prices (Oil, Wheat, Water, precious and rare minerals) are reducing the volumes that can be afforded
Recycling: Yes but caring formy loved ones first! ExploringIdentity Conflicts amongst“Green” Working MothersDr Iain Black, The University of EdinburghDr Helene Cherrier, Griffith University
Context• Professional working mothers experience conflicting personal and social expectations. – Personal goals (Work, CPD) vs. Evolutionary (Mothering practices) (Kenrick et al.,2003) and social goals (Thompson 1996) – Working mothers: “Am I a bad mother”…• In managing these conflicting expectations, these super- mothers often opt for unsustainable consumption practices: – Convenience consumption (Reilly 1982; Reilly and Wallendorf 1987) – Buying pre-processed foods (Thompson 1996). – Often do not often have to time and energy to integrate sustainable waste management in their lifestyle (Godbey et al. 1998).
Conceptual Framework Used Self : Social and Personal and Extendable (Belk, 1988) Relatively stable, Coherent More Ahuvia, 2005 and Tian and Belk, 2005) than Belk (1988) and Kleine and Klein (2000) Yet organized as an ever developing, narrative (Atkins 2004; Ahuvia 2005) Narrative is partly dialogical in nature (Taylor (1992, Brison, 1997) We learn how to understand ourselves and others via discussion with others and society. Shifting societal expectations create challenges for maintaining a coherent self Voluntary Scarcity
Method: – 17 mothers from Sydney and Toronto – Recruitment via “Greenhomes” initiative recruitment agency – 1.5 - 3hrs, in-home discussions – Grounded theory analysis techniques used
Findings• High level of knowledge and commitment to performing a wide range of sustainable behaviours• General concern and specific understanding about environmental issues. – GHG emissions, water, air and food pollution food, rubbish disposal – Clearly knowledgeable and intending to act• Understand consequences of these issues: – ‘I: Why are you doing all this? R: Well because the Earth is in need of it I guess, and you know, worrying about your kids futures and what’s it going to look like for them and the whole global warming thing.”
Findings– Pro-environmental consumption often practiced through Anti- consumption in acts of rejection, reduction and reuse, not purchasing green alternatives.– Non consumption used to support symbolic, identity narrative• Change within the consumerist paradigm• Rejection of “Treehugger”, radical environmentalist, Conservationist identity – “Would you call yourself a conservationist? R: “I think like people on the outside who aren’t into conservation stuff probably would, but me from being, looking within and looking at the extreme conservationist people, then I wouldn’t.”
Conceptual Findings• Conflict is created by the contrasting social positions, values and behaviour inherent in the different roles played: i.e. mother, professional worker and green consumer.• How consumption and disposal practices are integrated into the daily routines can be understood using a framework of identity conflicts and strategies used to manage these conflicts (Swann 1987, Murray 2002, Ahuvia 2005). – Becoming green necessitates new consumption and disposal practices that are managed through Assimilation (Accepting or Modifying) or Rejection strategies.
Accepting:• Where the new consumption or disposal practice is not felt to cause conflict between the core and periphery identity, then it can be readily integrated in to their daily routine.• All mothers Accepted some form of recycling as a disposal practice. – Behaviour from other role/identity was assimilated into Motherhood• For example: Katherine: – Now sorts and recycles: glass ,metal plastics, food/yard waste, paper, used nappies (diapers), tissues and general waste – She found this a straightforward change and wishes she could do more! – Rejected strong chemical household cleaners, using vinegar and baking soda
Modifying Some behaviours or values under scrutiny required modification before it was assimilated into the core identity. Without this the behaviour would impinge too greatly on the core identity and would be rejected.• Francis: – Rather than clean the bottles and cans for recycling, she would (sometimes) give them a quick rinse (if at all) and put them in the appropriate box. Conflict between environmental and mother (time poor/juggling)• Rachael: – Rather than accept the environmental messages regarding eating significantly less (or no) meat, she still feeds her daughter hamburgers – Concern over iron and weight Conflict between environmental and mother
Rejecting• Where the conflicting consumption or disposal behaviour would mean a change in the core identity, it may be rejected – I.e. practice impinges on some fundamental part of their motherhood• Francis – Rejects the use of environmentally friendly cleaners as believes they do not work as well. Therefore house is not as clean and safe – Conflicting with very strong (Italian) mother where cleanliness is critical. But will make own insecticide, will modify car use• Regina – Rejects the reuse of printer paper It clogs the printer, false economy Mother vs. “corporate shark” vs environmentalist
Discussion• Conflicts between core and other identities, can be negotiated so that despite (and because of) the adoption of new values and consumption practices, self image can be maintained. – “Assimilation” strategy allows change to be avoided even in the face of considerable change.• Assimilation occurs because of the hierarchical nature of the conflicting identities and the central importance of motherhood to sense of self. – Properties do not exist in Ahuvia’s examination of loved objects (2005) or Mick and Fournier’s (1998) technical paradoxes.
Discussion• Disposal, change and loss occurring without disposing or loss of the meaning of the practice; – i.e. Katherines disposal of a un-environmentally friendly behaviour was not accompanied by the disposal of the meaning of this behaviour to her motherhood (a good mother keeps a clean house protecting her children against disease and illness)• Instead some of the meaning is transferred on to a new behavior that does not cause conflict between her multiple roles. – So she avoids becoming too environmental or jeopardising her mothering values.
Discussion– Show that beyond information processing, intentions based models, identity conflicts and self interested needs are important barriers– Questions the notion of the Sustainable Consumer– Develops understanding of voluntary scarcities
Recommendations:– Incorporate changes into existing identities rather than requiring the consumer to change the way they see themselves.– Rather than attempting to “turn people green” frame changes as being a necessary part of existing core identities such as mother, father, wife etc.– Changes want to be made within the dominant consumer economy discourse. – This is a concern!
Recommendations Reinforces requirement for governments to provide structural support for the individual actions. Position sustainable practices along side self interested notions such as independence, beauty, quality or value for money. Avoid “charity appeal” Importance of mundane practices not extraordinary experiences that might be at the climax of consumer identity change, transformation or revelation.
Tying it all together These studies work together to help build conceptually more holistic understanding of the fundamental premise underlying marketing sustainability living with less and the overriding conclusion is that we make do, we are able to gain value in other ways, we consume at different rates, take more utility, use other products or services to build or maintain self image. We can reassure people that by consuming less, they will not have less We can do the same with less.