Moral licensing refers to behavioural patterns identified by psychology experiments where individuals who complete a ‘good act’ – say buying a green product - then feel licensed to conduct a ‘bad act’, such as buying non-green products.
Such behaviour could pose a significant problem for policy-makers in business or government seeking to change consumption behaviour.
However, moral licensing also challenges other findings in both psychology and economics - which suggests that individuals act in a consistent fashion.
Theoretical research we have conducted suggests it may be possible to reconcile these two approaches, and we will conduct a number of empirical projects to test the theoretical predictions.
Our four research themes explore how we can achieve less resource-intensive ways of life.
We are developing research collaborations on emerging new themes.