Research Seminar: Experiential (versus Material) Products Promote More Sustainable Consumer Behavior
Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business invites you to the Research Seminar titled “Experiential (versus Material) Products Promote More Sustainable Consumer Behavior”, presented by Assistant Professor Mustafa Karataş
This research investigates what type of products promote sustainable consumer behavior –material products (objects for having and keeping in one’s possession) or experiential products (objects for engaging in activities and for having a life experience). In Study 1, we show that consumers cognitively associate experiential (vs. material) concepts with pro-environmental (vs. trashing) concepts at an implicit level. We further find that more consumers prefer to spend time reading an article about reusing plastic bottles when they are reminded of a recent experiential (vs. material) purchase in a plastic bottle (Study 2). In Study 3, which involves an incentive-compatible measure, we find that consumers’ actual monetary valuation for an experiential product is higher when the product is fully recyclable. This effect is mediated by higher inclusion of experiential products in one’s self concept (Study 4); thus, it attenuates among consumers who hold a negative self-worth perception (Study 5). Two additional field studies, conducted in a dental clinic and online through Google Ads, provide robust support for the effect through higher clickthrough rates (Study 6) and higher actual recycling (Study 7) following an appeal that involves experiential (versus material) framing. Finally, an analysis of Kickstarter projects which include the word “sustainable” in their description (n = 2,054) shows that experiential (rather than material) framing significantly increases the total amount pledged for sustainability-related projects. The current research significantly advances our understanding of the antecedents of pro-environmental behavior by demonstrating the significant role of product-related characteristics on motivating sustainable actions, which has been largely neglected in past research. This research also provides substantive public policy and managerial implications for increasing the effectiveness of environmental appeals through experiential framing.
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Assistant Professor of Marketing, NUGSB
Mustafa Karataş received his Ph.D. in Business Administration with concentration in Marketing from Koç University, Turkey. Dr. Karataş holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Management from INSEAD and Bilkent University. Dr. Karataş’s research interests and expertise are in consumer psychology and decision making. His past and ongoing research explores consumer decisions and effectiveness of marketing communications in a variety of contexts including sustainability and green consumption, charity giving, product bundle evaluation, foreign language processing, and preference for automated/AI over human marketing agents. Dr. Karataş’s research has appeared in leading marketing and psychology journals such as Journal of Consumer Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. His teaching interests include Marketing Management, Marketing Research, and Consumer Behavior.