The Power of a Sticker

A recent study conducted by two professors at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University found that environmental labels may discourage conservatives - and to a lesser extent, moderates - from buying energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly (CFL) lightbulbs.

In one of the studies, 210 participants were shown two different lightbulbs, given $2 to spend, and granted the right to keep the money they did not spend. Before deciding which lightbulb to purchase, each participant was educated on the benefits of CFL bulbs in comparison to incandescent bulbs. Some CFL bulbs had a "Protect the Environment" sticker on it, while others had a blank sticker.

When the more expensive CFL bulb had no sticker on it's packaging, conservatives and liberals chose that lightbulb at about the same rate. However, when the CFL bulbs included a "Protect the Environment" sticker on the box, conservatives were less likely to choose the energy-efficient bulb.

However, regardless of political ideology, every individual in the survey other than one person preferred CFL bulbs when they were listed at the same price as normal incandescent bulbs ($0.50) rather than their normal price ($1.50).

Sources: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science; Duke University

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