Toronto Metropolitan University
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A Review and Framework for Thinking about the Drivers of Prosocial Consumer Behavior

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-19, 15:02 authored by Katherine White, Rishad HabibRishad Habib, Darren W. Dahl

In recent years, the topic of prosocial consumer behavior has garnered more and more attention from consumer researchers, resulting in a steady increase in published journal articles on the subject—from 186 articles in 2000 to 1,763 articles in 2018. Drawing on this momentum, this special issue of the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research on “The Prosocial Consumer” highlights different perspectives on the causes, motivations, and consequences of prosocial consumer behaviors. We conceptualize prosocial consumer behavior broadly and view it as encompassing any consumer behavior that leads to some cost to the self in order to achieve some benefit for others (Small and Cryder 2016). As such, prosocial consumer behavior could refer to an action that involves helping or benefitting a specific person or persons but could also reflect more general behaviors that benefit wider society. Prosocial consumer behaviors can include (but are not limited to) charitable giving and other donation behaviors (such as blood donation, organ donation, etc.), volunteering, altruistic consumer behaviors, ethical purchasing, cause-related engagement, and consumer advocacy or activism.


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