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Barriers to sustainable consumption attenuated by foreign language use

Nature Sustainabilityvolume 1pages3133 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

The adoption of certain innovative products, such as recycled water, artificial meat and insect-based food, could help promote sustainability. However, the disgust these products elicit acts as a barrier to their consumption. Here, we show that describing such products in a foreign language attenuates the disgust these products trigger and heightens their intended as well as actual consumption.

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Acknowledgements

We thank S. Puntoni, J. Levav and L. Burnett for valuable comments on preliminary versions of this manuscript and J. Bekkers and J. Klesse for assisting with data collection. Financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (VENI grant 451-15-023 awarded to A.K.) is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

    • Janet Geipel
  2. Department of Economics and Management, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

    • Constantinos Hadjichristidis
  3. Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

    • Constantinos Hadjichristidis
  4. Department of Marketing Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • Anne-Kathrin Klesse

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Contributions

J.G. and C.H. developed the study concept. All authors contributed to the study design. J.G. performed testing and data collection for Experiments 1–3 and A.K. coordinated data collection for Experiment 4. J.G. performed the data analysis and interpretation under the supervision of C.H. and A.K.; J.G. and C.H. drafted the manuscript, and A.K. provided critical revisions. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Janet Geipel.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Results, Supplementary Figs. 1,2 and Supplementary Tables 1–9.

  2. Supplementary Data Sets

    Data related to Experiments 1–4.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-017-0005-9