Journal of Consumer Psychology vol:23 issue:3 pages:341-348
This article investigates if and how the valence of color cues affects moral acceptability of (un)desirable consumer behaviors. Study 1 uses colors with definite differences in terms of valence, namely, red and green. Study 2 applies an evaluative conditioning paradigm to endow initially neutral colors with negative versus positive valences. We find an ironic color effect: undesirable behaviors become more acceptable when presented with negatively valenced colors. In general, respondents find (un)desirable behaviors more acceptable when a background color is of the same valence rather than neutral or opposite in valence. Implications for promotion and prevention campaigns are discussed.