Going Green, Getting Fat?
Is your reusable grocery bag making you fat? A new study published in The Journal of Marketing reports that people who “go green” and bring reusable bags to the supermarket are more likely to reward themselves for their environmentally friendly behavior by indulging in ice cream, cookies and potato chips. Called the “licensing effect,” such a pattern is seen when making a “virtuous” decision in one domain makes people feel they have license to indulge themselves in another. Business researchers from Harvard and Duke tested the effect in data on more than 2 million trips to a California supermarket. On the other hand, they also found that shoppers with reusable bags were more likely to buy organic products.