European marketing academy edition:43 location:Valencia date:3-6 June 2014
To get a better idea of when consumer misconduct is most likely, we relate construal level (CL) to consumers’ tolerance towards ethically questionable consumer practices. Prior research on CL and more severe moral transgressions (outside a consumer context) shows inconsistent findings, possibly because of the use of specific manipulations and scenarios. To avoid such idiosyncratic effects, we measure respondents’ chronic construal level by means of a general scale and we use a consumer beliefs scale designed to cover a wide variety of ethical consumer behaviors. A US study shows that the lower consumers’ chronic level of construal, the more tolerant they are towards ethically questionable acts. This result was replicated in a Turkish sample. Inducing abstract processing could thus be a way to inhibit consumer misbehavior.