Feeling global, acting ethically: Global identification and fairtrade consumption
By Gerhard Reese and Fabienne Kohlmann
Global identification has become a popular construct in recent psychological debate as it relates to harmonious intergroup relations and a caring for all humanity. Based on social identity theorizing, the current research tests whether global identification can also predict consumer choices, at the expense of lower personal benefit. Importantly, we assumed that concerns about global injustice represent a crucial component of that relation. We predicted that participants who identified strongly with all humanity would rather choose a Fairtrade product alternative over a conventional one, compared with low identifiers. In addition, we assumed that this effect be mediated by perceived global injustice. Both predictions were confirmed in a consumer choice study (N = 68). Overall, global identification and globally relevant consumer behavior seem meaningfully interconnected, and we discuss these findings with regard to recent theoretical developments in Fairtrade consumption research.