Now that's a Bright Idea: The Influence of Consumer Elaboration and Distance Perceptions on Sustainable Choices

  • Tangari A
  • Burton S
  • Smith R
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Integrating theory related to psychological distance and elaboration on potential outcomes, hypotheses are offered that predict that consumers' elaboration levels moderate the effect of temporal distance on choice of energy efficient products. In three experiments, the authors examine the influence of temporal and psychological distance and the moderating effect of a consumer's propensity to elaborate on potential outcomes (EPO) in retail choice-based situations. Results support these predictions with consumers lower in elaboration more likely to choose an energy efficient product when perceived distance is proximal versus distal, while the distance effect has less of an influence on consumers prone to higher elaboration. We test the effect of distance perceptions within a retail lab environment, as well as across ad and retail contexts. These results will help marketers better understand how to promote products in ad versus retail-based contexts and across different consumer groups. Findings offer implications for theory, retailers, product marketers, and NGO's interested in promoting energy efficient choices.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Elaboration on potential outcomes
  • Energy efficient products
  • Psychological distance
  • Sustainable product choices
  • Temporal distance

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  • Andrea Heintz Tangari

  • Scot Burton

  • Ronn J. Smith

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