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Viewing responsible consumption as a personal project

C. Valor, I. Carrero

Psychology & Marketing Vol. 31, nº. 12, pp. 1110 - 1121


Previous research on “responsible consumption” (RC) has focused on the inconsistencies of responsible consumers and has used the term “gap” to refer to these inconsistencies. Observable difficulties, such as a lack of available responsible products and their higher associated costs, have been given as explanations for this gap. A much more complex explanation emerges when RC is seen holistically, a long-term perspective is adopted, when consumers are studied in their daily life, and consumption is seen as a social activity. The argument developed in this paper draws fundamentally on psychology, in particular on the literature on personal projects. By using an inductive methodology (grounded theory), a case is made for treating responsible consumption as one of many personal projects that an individual may undertake. Since consumers have a project network and projects are not always aligned with one another, there is frequently a clash between projects. This clash can be interpersonal (with other projects of the same individual) or intrapersonal (with the projects, beliefs, norms of his/her significant others). The main contribution of this paper is that it puts forward a holistic, dynamic, and socially embedded view of RC which leads to questioning the notion of “gap.”

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 1,080 - Q2 (2014); 6,700 - Q1 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20758

Published on paper: November 2014.

Published on-line: October 2014.

C. Valor, I. Carrero, Viewing responsible consumption as a personal project. Psychology & Marketing. Vol. 31, nº. 12, pp. 1110 - 1121, November 2014. [Online: October 2014]

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