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A new study shows that people are more likely to cheat and steal after buying green products.


Buying green products—some of the volunteers were given $25 to spend in the green store, while others were given $25 to spend in the conventional store—had an entirely different effect. Volunteers who bought up to $25 worth of ecofriendly stuff from the green store shared less money ($1.76) than those who purchased from the conventional store ($2.18). (Just to be clear, the volunteers were not given a choice about which online store to patronize.) For the green buyers, altruism in the dictator game decreased. More alarming, when the green buyers were then given a chance to cheat on a computer game, and lie about it to the scientists in order to win more money—basically, to steal—they did. Buyers of conventional products did not. And in an honor system in which they took money from an envelope to pay themselves their winnings, the green buyers stole six times more than the conventional buyers did.

Answer Question

Asked by grlygrlz2 at 11:28 AM on Mar. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • What do you think?

    The usual caveats for this kind of experiment apply. One hundred fifty-six university students may not be representative of society as a whole. The situation was artificial: playing the dictator game and the computer game, not helping a blind man across the street or volunteering at a soup kitchen. The amount of money at stake in the computer game where cheating and stealing were possible was small—less than $1. Still, as Mazar points out, the money was completely real to the volunteers, and she believes the findings do apply in the real world.


    Answer by grlygrlz2 at 11:29 AM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Maybe they feel cheated & are compensating.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:35 AM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I think its funny. And it's not like they took people who are wanting to live their lives more "green" and studied their behaviors versus those who don't live green. They used volunteers, so IMO it's just something they did for fun and not terribly accurate.

    Answer by mommy_lisa25 at 12:09 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Bwahahahaha......another anti-greenie. Stupid study.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:12 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Another example of a waste of time and money in the form of a study. I wonder what the tester was attempting to prove by using a group of random volunteers, not green vs anti-green individuals?


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:16 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Is someone "anti green" if they do not purchase green products?

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:49 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • FYI when the study is "156 university students" then it is somebody's senior project or possibly a graduate thesis. This is not a waste of money. This is a learning experience. Think of it like a science fair project.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:56 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • The volunteers were picked and divided randomly.
    The volunteers were assigned which site they would buy from.
    They were assigned based on what?
    Totally random.
    What does it PROVE?
    Nothing except people (any, random ppl) steal and lie.
    It does not prove greenies lie and steal more than non greenies.
    It proves that the ppl ASSIGNED to shop at 1 site stole and lied more than other random group.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:25 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • eye rolling


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:09 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

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