Back in July we came across the results of a study on consumer behavior as it related to “going green”. The research concluded that people are more motivated to make eco-friendly purchases based on perceptions about status - i.e. installing these solar panels are sure to make my neighbors envious - than they are by other factors, like cost-savings or more surprisingly perhaps, actually benefitting the environment.

Image Credit: Getty Images, Steve Roe /Flickr

Back in July we came across the results of a study on consumer behavior as it related to “going green”. The research concluded that people are more motivated to make eco-friendly purchases based on perceptions about status – i.e. installing these solar panels are sure to make my neighbors envious – than they are by other factors, like cost-savings or more surprisingly perhaps, actually benefitting the environment. On his blog, Richard Florida dubs this modern day version of “keeping up with the Joneses” the “Prius Effect” after Toyota's popular hybrid vehicle. And while there most certainly is strange bit of psychology at play, it's hard to argue with a bit of altruistic martyrdom meets juvenile competition when it's for a good cause.

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