Shoppers who buy organic food are LESS likely to be helpful to other people, study claims
Daily Mail Reporter
13:36 GMT, 17 February 2013
00:36 GMT, 18 February 2013
Buying organic foods may make you less likely to show kindness to others, researchers claim.
This is because using organic products makes people feel more secure about themselves, weakening the urge to act unselfishly, says US psychologist Dr Kendall Eskine.
It also makes them judge immoral behaviour more harshly, his team reports in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
But comfort foods can lead to us being more social and making kinder moral judgments.
People who buy organic produce are less likely to help others in need, according to a new study from the U.S
The study, at Loyola University in New Orleans, used 62 students in three groups.
One was given pictures of organic
produce, another images of ice cream, cookies, chocolate and brownies,
and a control group pictures of porridge, rice, mustard and beans.
They were then all asked their views
on six moral transgressions ranging from a politician taking bribes to a
student stealing books from a library.
When they thought the study had finished, the students were told that a professor in another department was looking for volunteers willing to spare 30 minutes without any reward.
The students who were exposed to organic fruit and vegetables agreed to spare an average 13 minutes to help the professor.
The study found that people who were exposed to organic food were willing to set aside an average 13 minutes to help others compared with 25 minutes from those who viewed comfort food such as chocolate
However, the students who saw the comfort food were happy to set aside 25 minutes compared with 20 minutes from those in the third group, which looked at oatmeal and rice.
Dr Kendall Eskine and colleagues, who wrote the paper 'Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals' in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, said that people were more willing to help after eating something sweet.
In contrast, those that taste something disgusting had tougher moral judgments.
The psychologists wrote: 'The possibility is that those who simply purchase organic products will be less likely to engage in other meaningful acts of environmental protection.
'Although organic products are indubitably environmentally sound and ethical choices, perhaps milder, more subtle advertisements could help promote the beneficial qualities of these products without inadvertently inducing moral licensing in its consumers.'