Do as I Do, not as I Think: Disentangling the Impact of Different Types of Social Norms on Customer Environmental Consumption

Ad de Jong, Julien Schmitt, Kristina Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Research has shown that social norms (i.e. perceptions of other people’s opinions about a specific behaviour), play an important role in shaping pro-environmental consumption. However past studies have focussed largely on subjective norms, formed by referring to known relatives such as friends and family. The present paper extends this research by investigating the impact of different types of social norms such as local norms (reference to local neighbours and communities), and by differentiating between injunctive norms (perception of other’s opinions) and descriptive norms (perception of others’ behaviour). The present research aims to disentangle the influence of each of these types of social norms on pro-environmental behaviour. Findings reveal that descriptive norms are the most powerful in this context. This demonstrates that social influence in pro-environmental consumption is therefore a matter of imitation of others rather than of persuasion by others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Marketing Trends Conference 2019
EditorsJean-Claude Andreani, Umberto Collesei
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationParis-Venice
PublisherMarketing Trends Association
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9782490372065
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe 18th International Marketing Trends Conference - Venice, Italy
Duration: 17 Jan 201919 Jan 2019
Conference number: 18


ConferenceThe 18th International Marketing Trends Conference
Internet address


  • Environmental consumption
  • Types of social norms

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