Mindfulness in ethical consumption: the mediating roles of connectedness to nature and self-control

Yiyan Li, Liyuan Wei, Xiaohua Zeng, Jianjun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Ethical consumption is an integral component for the sustainable development in the world and is especially challenging in the Western consumer society. This research demonstrates that mindfulness, a Buddhism-based notion, is associated with two related and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption: refinement and reduction. It examines the psychological mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness on these two approaches of ethical consumption. Design/methodology/approach: Self-report data were collected through an online survey with consumers from western societies (N = 523). Findings: The findings show (1) that the significance of mindfulness on both approaches of ethical consumption and (2) that the contrast between the different mechanisms underlying them. Specifically, the mindfulness–consumption refinement link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature whereas the mindfulness–consumption reduction link is fully mediated by connectedness-to-nature and self-control. A series of supplementary studies further confirmed the proposed model. Research limitations/implications: It demonstrates the multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption, which is positively associated with mindfulness but through distinctive psychological mechanisms. Practical implications: The multifaceted and complex nature of ethical consumption and its underlying drivers need special attention. Mindfulness can be an effective means to boost ethical consumption behavior. Meanwhile, nurturing the sense of connectedness to nature and self-control capability facilitates the path-through of the positive impacts of mindfulness Social implications: The findings can be adopted to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in promoting ethical consumption towards achieving the Sustainable Consumption goal, especially in the West. Originality/value: The paper makes original contribution by conceptualizing two interrelated and distinctive approaches of ethical consumption and shows how mindfulness promotes both through different mediating pathways. Overall, this study paints a clearer picture how mindfulness relates to ethical consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-779
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Consumption reduction
  • Consumption refinement
  • Ethical consumption
  • Mediating effects
  • Mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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