Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable consumption

Myoung-Jin CHAE

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Recent findings on COVID-19 indicate that during a pandemic consumers focus on themselves and protection of their health and safety as an immediate major concern. However, there is little understanding of how the perceived threat of an infectious disease influences sustainable consumption behavior. Through a series of laboratory experiments on chocolate bar and laundry detergent choices, I found that the COVID-19 pandemic increased consumers' perceived threat, leading to a decrease in sustainable (vs. nonsustainable) products. Further, the results of a survey comprising 402 U.S. consumers show that perceived threat from the pandemic increased their self-centeredness, the effects of which were driven by a series of consequence-related negative emotions. My findings provide insights for firms promoting socially responsible products and citizens who consider sustainability a major long-term concern.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10199
JournalSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Scientific Journal Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


  • Consumer behavior
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Infectious disease
  • Negative emotions
  • Pandemic
  • Perceived threat
  • Sustainable consumption


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