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In Pursuit of Happiness: Disentangling Sustainable Consumption, Consumer Alienation, and Social Desirability

E. Chéron (), L. Sudbury-Riley () and F. Kohlbacher ()
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E. Chéron: Akita International University
L. Sudbury-Riley: University of Liverpool
F. Kohlbacher: FK Associates

Journal of Consumer Policy, 2022, vol. 45, issue 2, No 1, 149-173

Abstract: Abstract This study makes a novel attempt to disentangle the complex relationships between making sustainable purchasing choices and happiness, while also considering the key issues of social desirability and consumer alienation. Analysis of data collected via a survey administered to a representative sample (n = 835) of Japanese consumers suggests that making sustainable purchases does indeed have a positive impact on life satisfaction, or happiness. At the same time, high levels of need for social approval also positively impacts sustainable consumption and happiness. Feeling alienated from the marketplace, however, has a detrimental impact on happiness. These results suggest a more complex picture than is usually portrayed in studies of ethical consumption and life satisfaction, extend our understanding of an intricate set of relationships, and provide insight for policy makers and managers into the ways in which happiness can be encouraged via making sustainable consumption choices and having a more positive perception of business and social norms.

Keywords: Sustainable consumption; Life satisfaction; Happiness; Consumer well-being; Consumer alienation; Social desirability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10603-021-09498-w

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Journal of Consumer Policy is currently edited by Hans Micklitz, John Thøgersen, Lucia A. Reisch, Alan Mathios and Christian Twigg-Flesner

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