Practice what you preach!? : A study of the gap between attitude and behaviour towards organic milk

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling; Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling

Author: Karin Lindgren; Elin Olsson; [2009]

Keywords: ;

Abstract:

The trend of environmentally friendly consumption permeates our whole society and the general attitude towards the consumption of it is strongly positive. However, the existence of an attitude-behaviour gap became clear to us since the actual green consumption does not reflect the positive attitude. In this thesis focus is on one specific product - organic milk. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to explain the dissonance between attitude and behaviour towards organic milk. In order to reach our purpose we chose to perform a pilot study targeting students at the University of Linköping. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used in the collection of data. It has been done using a survey and interviews. We were able to establish the existence of an attitude-behaviour gap towards organic milk amongst students at the university, and that this gap in fact arises before an intention to buy organic milk is even formed. Since a behavioural intention is not formed, an actual corresponding behaviour will not occur. The attitude-behaviour gap is explained by the fact that other factors than attitude influence the formation of the intention. In this case the factors strongly counteracting the attitude are consumer habits, social influence, to what extent the consumer feels an ethical obligation to buy organically and whether the consumer identifies herself with the issue. Together, these factors are so strong that they succeed in neutralizing the positive attitude.

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