The impact of materialism and moral identity on post-neutralization behavior in social media environmental campaigns

Yuhosua Ryoo, Soheil Kafiliveyjuyeh, Jung Ah Lee, Woo Jin Kim, Yongjun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

When consumers become aware of their inconsistent ethical behavior, they experience ethical dissonance and attempt to rationalize their past misconduct through neutralization techniques. This article examines post-neutralization behavior: whether neutralization prompts participants who have refused to donate to one campaign to rectify their moral lapse by donating to a subsequent campaign. Materialism and moral identity are shown to interact within individuals. Three studies demonstrate that, in the absence of neutralization, consumers with higher levels of materialism donate more to subsequent causes regardless of their moral identity levels, while those with lower materialism donate more when they have high moral identity. Neutralization prevents this compensatory behavior and decreases donations from highly materialistic consumers. They only donate more when they also have high moral identity. This research examines a series of environmental campaigns for fundraising on social media to explore post-transgression and post-neutralization behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-464
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Advertising Association.

Keywords

  • Materialism
  • moral identity
  • neutralization
  • sequential moral decision-making
  • social media advertising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing

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