Consumers’ Preferences Toward Eco-Friendly Products Boil Down to How Their Brains Are Wired

Abstract thinkers tend to be more concerned with the future

background is various shades of green; in the middle is a white circle; inside the circle is the eco friendly, reduce-reuse-recycle sign
Consumers are often divided into concrete or abstract thinkers, which determines their purchasing habits. Getty Images
Headshot of Katherine White

Ask shoppers if they want to buy products that are better for the environment and most will answer with a definitive yes. Check their shopping carts, however, and you’ll often get a very different story.

Katherine White holds the professorship in consumer insights, prosocial consumption and sustainability and is a professor in the marketing and behavioral science division at the UBC Sauder School of Business.