Living in Present to Nurture the Future: Investigating the Association Between Mindfulness and Sustainable Consumption Behaviors Using Individuals' Cognitive Personality, Values and Beliefs Variables
Need for Cognition
Sustainable Consumption Behavior
Values and Beliefs
Family & Consumer Sciences
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCurrently our world consumes the equivalent of 1.6 earths per year. Although the production has become resource-efficient by using fewer natural resources to produce one dollar of GDP, per-capita consumption in the US firmly increases. Individuals consume an ever-increasing quantity of goods and services which inevitably leads to environmental damages in terms of pollution, deforestation, climate change and psychological disorders such as reduced wellbeing, unhappiness, and anxiety. Past research has suggested that embracing sustainable consumption - where consumption of products and services have minimal impact on the environment, and improvement in society's wellbeing-might mitigate the detrimental effects of over-consumption. Increasingly studies in this stream propose that adopting a psychological approach, specifically by enhancing individuals' inherent capability known as mindfulness may aid in boosting sustainable consumption behaviors. However, only few studies have investigated the decision-making processes associated with mindfulness that could show a detailed picture of how mindfulness - receptive attention to and present moment awareness is positively associated with sustainable consumption behaviors. Conceptual model for this study was built based on mindfulness-related mechanisms, namely re-perceiving, systematic processing, and ability to overcome need for fulfillment. Using a four-step conceptual model: mindfulness-cognitive personality variables-values and beliefs variables-sustainable consumption behaviors, this research empirically examines how trait mindfulness is associated with sustainable consumption behaviors. Embracing a broad definition of sustainable consumption in terms of its impact on environment (composition) and level of consumption (volume), this research includes both pro-environmental and downshifting consumption behaviors. By utilizing an online survey method, data was collected from 1005 respondents in Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk). Findings from self-reported measures suggested that while mindfulness directly and positively associated with sustainable behaviors, significant indirect relationships are explained by cognitive personality variables such as cognitive flexibility, need for cognition, attention based self-regulatory control, and values/beliefs namely altruistic values, self-acceptance values, materialistic values, and perceived consumer effectiveness. Comparing empirical models using measures of both socio-cognitive based mindfulness and meditation based mindfulness demonstrated that the former has both direct and indirect relationships with sustainable behaviors while the latter showed only indirect relationships through cognitive personality variables and values/beliefs. By identifying cognitive personality variables that are closely associated with mindfulness, this research teases out the tenets of mindfulness that are more relevant for sustainable consumption behaviors. Also, the recognized cognitive personality variables in this research have been rigorously studied in consumer behavior research, hence finding their relationships with mindfulness might help uncover applications of mindfulness in mainstream consumer behavior research. In addition, by supporting relationships involving cognitive personality variables and values/beliefs relevant for sustainable consumption, this study may offer insights for policy makers and practitioners in maneuvering consumers' mindfulness and their sustainable behaviors to bring about change in their sustainable consumption behaviors.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family & Consumer Sciences