The Psychology Behind Conscious Consumerism

Have you ever wondered what happens within the mind when we pick up an item at a store, grovel over our options to “buy it”, “leave it” or “carry it around” and decide later? What about the shopping carts we fill at 1 AM when we are perusing the internet only to fall asleep and wake up the next day to see we did end up clicking the “Checkout Now” button after all. Believe it or not, these decisions tend to be “unconscious decisions” that Americans make within our consumer culture and the research is only growing to back this up. “Individuals engage in consumption related cognition, motivation, decision making, emotion, and behavior without recognizing the role that nonconscious processes played in shaping them”, according to the ScienceDirect Journal of Consumer Psychology.  

So what about the conscious consumer mind? How does that look different? And why are consumer habits starting to evolve and change across the globe?

Well, I have two words for you: Conscious Awareness

This is a space within our minds that includes “the things we are aware of being aware of” says Study.com. Our mind operates on a spectrum of consciousness. Some of the things we are completely aware of, some we are not aware of at all, and some fall somewhere in the middle. When it comes to Conscious Consumerism and Conscious Awareness, we are utilizing a greater percentage of our Conscious Awareness to make a decision surrounding what we buy and why.

Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself next time you make a purchasing decision to see how much of your Conscious Awareness you are relying on to make that decision:

  1. Why do I want to make this specific purchase?
  2. Is this purchase a basic necessity?
  3. What emotion am I feeling as I hold or look at this product? (anxiousness, excitement, neutrality, impatience, sadness, anger…)
  4. How will this purchase affect my day-to-day life?

Being a Conscious Consumer goes beyond knowing our values. It is a commitment we make in life to take a moment, connect with our mind, ask ourselves the meaningful questions, and create more decisiveness around Conscious awareness.

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Kristen Gmerek

Kristen is a writer, creator, and healing human who falls in love with stories each day. She is currently the Conscious Marketing and Communications Director for Mindful Market.

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