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The Dynamic Interaction of Personal Norms and Environment-Friendly Buying Behavior: A Panel Study

Authors

  • John Thøgersen,

    1. Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus, Denmark
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  • Folke Ölander

    1. Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus, Denmark
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    • 2Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to John Thøgersen, Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Haslegaardsvej 10, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark. E-mail: jbt@asb.dk


  • 1This paper is the outcome of a research project that was carried out under the framework of Centre for Social Science Research on the Environment (CeSaM), a multidisciplinary center based on collaboration among scholars from a number of Danish universities and other research institutions. The authors thank Anders Biel for helpful comments on an earlier draft.

Abstract

A deeper understanding of the attitude–norm–behavior relationship in the environmental field can be obtained by analyzing the dynamic interaction over time between relevant attitudinal variables and specific behaviors of interest. This article is based on a panel survey with a random sample of about 1,500 Danes interviewed up to 3 times in 1998 to 2000, regarding their purchase of organic food products. The panel analysis reveals that the stronger are consumers' personal norms about buying organic food products and the less they perceive organic products as expensive, the greater the likelihood that they change their purchase patterns in favor of organic products. Furthermore, one can observe significant cross-lagged paths from past behavior to belief and norm variables.

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