“Ethical consumers less likely to be kind and more likely to steal, study finds,” is the subhead on an article in the lefty British newspaper The Guardian.
OK, several caveats. This is one study by two social scientists in Canada. Science reporting in the daily press is sometimes sensationalized, and, further, I think you can design a psychological survey to prove anything. (Actual social scientists may want to differ, but that is my impression.)
But it’s ironic to see The Guardian sticking it to Al Gore:
When Al Gore was caught running up huge energy bills at home at the same time as lecturing on the need to save electricity, it turns out that he was only reverting to “green” type.
If I am at all inclined to believe Nina Mazar and Chen-Bo Zhong, it is because in my youth I met too many people who preached “peace and love, man,” but who would steal anything not nailed down. Their professions of morality in some areas seemed to excuse (to them) their behavior in other areas.
A PDF file of the study itself is available at Professor Mazar’s site.