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THIEVING GREENS: Study shows Green-product enthusiasts more likely to cheat and steal

hippybandits A psychological study has shown that:

people act less altruistically and are more likely to cheat and steal after purchasing green products as opposed to conventional products.

Slate explains how the study worked:

In an experiment, participants were randomly assigned to select items they wanted to buy in one of two online stores. One store sold predominantly green products, the other mostly conventional items. Then, in a supposedly unrelated game, all of the participants were allocated $6, to share as they saw fit with an anonymous (and unbeknownst to them, imaginary) recipient. Subjects who had chosen items from the green store coughed up less money, on average, than their counterparts. In a second experiment, participants were again assigned to shop in either a green or conventional store. Then they performed a computer task that involved earning small sums of cash. The setup offered the opportunity to cheat and steal with impunity. The eco-shoppers were more likely to do both.

The Stanford professor pondering the study opined:

Why might this happen? According to [Benoit Monin, a professor at Stanford], there are two theories. One is that when we’ve established our rectitude, we interpret ensuing behavior in a different light: I just proved I’m a good person, so what I’m doing now must be okay …

Another, potentially overlapping theory holds that we have a kind of subconscious moral accounting system. We like to think of ourselves as good guys, but sainthood has costs. So when we have done our mitzvah for the day, we cut ourselves some slack. In this model, “moral credits” are a kind of currency we accrue and spend.

Perhaps this also explains the moral flexibility of recently exposed climate academics who appear to have colluded to manipulate and suppress data in order to support their theories about climate change in a scandal unimaginatively dubbed climategate.


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  1. My field observations would support the good professors thesis.

    i.e. I reckon that dirty hippy flogged my discman when i was at that hostel in Budapest back in 97.

    Posted by hippy scum | December 10, 2009, 7:12
  2. This pattern of thinking is frequently displayed by bicycle riders…I’m doing my bit for Gaia, therefore I can swing on to the footpath, sail through red lights and just generally break the road rules without a care.

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | December 10, 2009, 8:08
  3. And in other news, right-wing tabloids more likely to publish ridiculous, unsubstantiated ‘studies’ whilst ignoring decades of peer-reviewed research from all over the world.

    Posted by sg | December 10, 2009, 10:55
  4. sg must be a hippie and a thief.

    Hows my money going you climate change priest you!

    Posted by Darkhorse | December 10, 2009, 12:05
  5. kind of a shame that people buy into this propaganda bullshit. how about rather than slander we here some actual relevant facts out of these people for once.

    Posted by newo | December 10, 2009, 12:40
  6. *hear*

    Posted by newo | December 10, 2009, 12:40
  7. Oh –

    you mean there is empirical evidence of the rank double standards of the morally vain, such as:

    flying to Copenhagen in squadrons of Lear Jets, before being chauffered around in fleets of limos – so we can clink glasses of cabonated alcholic beverages with Nick Stern while discussing how we shut down the global transport, food and energy industries before we find ourselves rubbing shoulders with even more of the proles ??


    Posted by Who ( Really ) Cares ! | December 10, 2009, 12:50
  8. If tax is theft then the greens are kleptomaniacs

    Posted by not a smelly greeen | December 10, 2009, 13:25
  9. In my youth, if I was going to a social gathering that may have been attended by hippies I would bring Abbott’s Larger so I could easily identify any thievery that would occur. Overwhelming it was a hippy who would tell me to “chill out” or “be cool” when confronted with their crimes. My coolness never extended beyond “sharing” a punch in the head with them, which they didn’t find all that “Groovy”.

    Posted by Right Said Fred | December 10, 2009, 14:18
  10. I’m sorry, how exactly are climate scientists eco-shoppers?

    Posted by Shaun | December 10, 2009, 16:34
  11. They are nearly as bad as the Socialist Left.

    Posted by LU 4 Ever | December 10, 2009, 22:59


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