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Buy Organic? You May Just Be A Jerk

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Of course, that’s not my opinion. Nor is it the opinion of The New 96.1/Joy-FM. But it’s an opinion based on a new study [and you know how I feel about them].

This particular study was presented in last week’s issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science [I’ve been a subscriber since ’08. Well, not really…]. The study showed participants pictures of organic food, comfort food [brownies and cookies, for instance], or neutral food [rice and mustard were two examples]. Then they were asked to pass moral judgements on a variety of transgressions. By an overwhelmiong margin, those shown pictures of organic food judged the activities much more harshly than those in the other two groups.

Oddly enough, a simular study was done two years ago. It found that people who purchased so-called “green” products sometimes felt morally virtuous about their choices. When that happened, they were more likely to condone cheating and stealing, and less likely to be nice to other people.

So why study this in the first place. One of the authors of the new research noted that many orrganic products were given “virtuous” names [like “Honest Tea”, for example].He wondered if people who bought the products would pat themselves on the back for their choice, then write themselves a pass for being judgemental. Turns out that many do [not any of you, of course].


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