Sustainable vs. Expensive: What the Wealthy Choose and Why?

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 07 June 2022
Sustainable vs. Expensive: What the Wealthy Choose and Why?

In an effort to encourage people to choose more environmentally friendly goods, the price of unsustainable products has recently been raised. A group of researchers in University Park, Pennsylvania has found that it can backfire when it comes to the wealthy in particular. Why is that happening?

The authors of this study note that the high prices of goods are a magnet for the wealthy, regardless of any environmental damage these unsustainable goods may cause. This shopping behavior applies to everything else besides grocery shopping, so the study team tried to find an easy way to address this behavior, and they found that when wealthy participants are reminded that “everyone is equal,” this tendency largely vanishes.

Therefore, in their opinion, their work should serve as a guide to help consumers make more sustainable shopping decisions and a reminder of the ultimate goal beyond their chronic sense of entitlement and their desire to spend a lot of money to satisfy their ego.

In general, most surveys have found that people prefer goods that offer some environmental or social benefit but once it's time to actually buy, many shoppers tend to back away from more sustainable products even if they cost less. The research team set out to investigate why this happening, looking at people's social class to finally find that members of a higher social class feel that it is entirely justified to buy expensive and socially irresponsible products to a certain extent, while members of a lower class are more likely to act logically and responsibly than their more affluent counterparts, as they are more communally minded and are unwilling to bear the higher cost of the products.

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