People like to view themselves as competent and moral. This makes them very sensitive to information that implies they behave immorally, such as peers who act more ethical than people do themselves. This article looks at the willingness of consumers to reduce their meat consumption after comparing their own consumption behavior to that of others; will meat eaters abandon their intentions to reduce their meat consumption after they realize they eat meat more often than average? This was tested via a multiple regression analysis with a sample of 181 US citizens. The defensive response called do-gooder derogationwas used as a template to test whether the response was caused by psychological threat. However, none of the hypotheses were supported. The results showed that only one’s own frequency of cooking vegetarian positively affected the intention to reduce meat consumption. Furthermore, psychological threat may negatively and directly affect people’s intentions to reduce meat consumption. Contrary to hypothesis 1, how often others cook vegetarian may positively affect people’s intentions to reduce meat consumption.
To be honest, this thesis is more moral/social psychology than innovation management. I managed to sneak it in under the innovation-diffusion paradigm. I did not find support for my hypothesis in the pilot study, and then chased another correlation which we all expected to be spurious. It was. Still, I think the thesis is well-written and I got a 9/10 (‘Excellent’) grade for it.