Friday, December 11, 2009

Go Green, Go Evil...

I was reading an article on Slate this morning that had an interesting take on the green movement. Apparently, an experiment was set up where people played a game where they could choose from two stores to buy products online, one was specifically eco-friendly and the other wasn't. Then the subjects played a seemingly-unrelated game where they were allocated money to share with an anonymous person, as much or as little as they wanted. The "eco-friendly" subjects shared less money than their counterparts. They were also more likely to cheat and steal in another money-related game.

So what's the deal??
"Several studies propose that the state of our self-image can directly influence our choices from moment to moment. When people have the chance to demonstrate their goodness, even in the most token of ways, they then feel free to relax their ethical standards."

The article goes on to state that a possible reason for this is that we see ourselves as earning "moral credits" on doing good for the planet, that allows us later to slack on other things.

I like that the end of the article the author mentions how we should be making these acts of greenness habitual and routine, and that if we do, we won't be as tempted to bask in the light of our halos.

Interesting food for thought.

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