Getting liberals and conservatives to go green: Political ideology and congruent appeals

Blair Kidwell, Adam Farmer, David M. Hardesty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Scopus citations


The authors develop a conceptual model of how the congruence of political ideology and persuasive appeals enhances sustainable behaviors. In study 1, persuasive appeals consistent with individualizing and binding moral foundations were developed to enhance liberal and conservative recycling. In study 2, individualizing and binding appeals were tested on actual recycling behavior using a longitudinal field study to demonstrate the effectiveness of messages congruent with the moral foundations of liberals and conservatives. Study 3 demonstrated that enhanced fluency represents the underlying psychological process that mediates the relationship between message congruence and intentions. Moreover, study 3 established that spillover effects resulting from increased intentions to engage in sustainable disposition behavior enhance intentions to engage in sustainable acquisition and consumption behaviors. Finally, study 4 ruled out potential message confounds to demonstrate the robustness of the findings. Practical implications for marketers and public policy officials interested in increasing sustainable behaviors are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-367
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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