An investigation of the interventional role of perceived norms on greener choice

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Encouraging green consumption is a key goal of green marketing. However, the practice of green consumption often deviates from green attitudes. The approach of behavioural interventions can help reduce the deviation, i.e., the green attitude-behaviour gap, by influencing consumers’ decision-making. Nevertheless, this approach lacks a coherent theory underlying the promotion of green consumption behaviour, neglects the influence of self-consciousness on decision-making and intervention effectiveness, and has little recognition of its potential side effects on consumers’ well-being. To address this, this research, using a combined lens of decision-making and behavioural intervention, aims to investigate the impact of normative mechanisms as informational interventions on encouraging consumers to make greener choice and how selfconsciousness affects these interventional impacts. Three experimental studies in hotel towel reuse scenarios were conducted to achieve the aim. The findings reveal that both personal and social normative interventions are effective in promoting green consumption, and self-consciousness affects consumer responses to these interventions. The negative influence of private (public) selfconsciousness on the impact of personal (social) normative interventions provides insight into why some studies failed to produce intervention effects. In addition, the research suggests that the impact of intervention on self-concept clarity could reflect its effect on consumers’ well-being. By revealing the mediating role of green preference in normative interventions, this research bridges the causal process among personal norms, green preference, and greener choice. These findings have important implications for marketers and policymakers seeking to promote green consumption while ensuring the well-being of consumers. Focusing on personal norms can encourage sustained greener choice, as it relates strongly to green preference and further activates one’s private self-consciousness, providing well-being benefits due to increased self-concept clarity. Effective normative prompts for different marketing communication purposes can be crafted using the research's findings.
Date of Award22 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorJuliette Wilson (Supervisor) & Kathy Hamilton (Supervisor)

Cite this