Your temperament decides where you buy your groceries!

‘This company really takes care of it’s employees and environment! They’re my first choice for everything now!’

What kind of a person do you think would the previous sentence come from?  Can consumer behaviour be predicted by certain traits of an individual? Turns out, dispositions such as gratefulness and spirituality can in one way or another predict consumer sensitivity to corporate social performance (CSCSP).

What does that mean? ‘Corporate Social Performance’ (CSP) refers to deliberate decisions of a business in relation to employees, partners and outcomes like pollution, charity etc.

Two distinct studies were done to see the influence of the four dispositions: hope, gratefulness, spirituality and generativity. The first study collected data first on gratitude and hope using the Gratitude Questionnaire (GQ-6) and the 12-item Adult Dispositional Hope Scale. Three weeks later the respondents’ CSCSP was measured on an 11-item scale. The second study collected data on spirituality and generativity using the Human Spirituality Scale and the Loyola Generativity Scale. A week later the CSCSP was measured.

Researchers found that the consumer sensitivity is driven by such individual differences. Higher hope and gratitude, that are often associated with prosocial behaviour, predict higher consumer sensitivity. Gratitude only influences consumer sensitivity, when hope is high, making it an interaction effect. On the contrary, generativity and spirituality share no such interaction. These dispositions might be underlined by factors like a positive world view and belief in the goodness of human life and a social/cultural context, making people sensitive towards corporate behaviour.


Giacalone, R.A., Paul, K. & Jurkiewicz, C.L. A Preliminary Investigation into the Role of Positive Psychology in Consumer Sensitivity to Corporate Social Performance. J Bus Ethics 58, 295–305 (2005).

Saishri Cappel (i-6185789)

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