Why is green consumption easier said than done? Exploring the green consumption attitude-intention gap in China with behavioral reasoning theory

Jianhua Wang, Minmin Shen, May Chu

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Abstract

Many consumers have shown positive attitudes towards green consumption; however, these attitudes do not necessarily translate into intentions or behaviors. To analyze this attitude-intention and hence behavior gap, this paper employs behavioral reasoning theory which extends the traditional theory of planned behavior by including context-specific reasons, in addition to values and global motives as possible determinants of intentions and behaviors. This study collected first-hand data by conducting a face-to-face survey with 839 Chinese consumers from four cities in Jiangsu Province and eight cities in Anhui Province, and applies structural equation modeling for data analysis. The results indicate that reasons for green consumption affect intentions only indirectly through attitudes, while reasons against green consumption impact intentions in a direct way, bypassing attitudes. In other words, reasons against green consumption impede intentions, despite positive attitudes. At the same time, both types of reasons are influenced by environmental values. To bridge the attitude-intention gap, we propose measures that the governments and businesses can take to raise the environmental values of consumers, and reduce their “reasons against” and increase their “reasons for” green consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100015
Number of pages10
JournalCleaner and Responsible Consumption
Volume2
Early online date31 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Environmental values
  • Global motives
  • Intention
  • Theory of planned behavior

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