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Open AccessArticle

A Neuroscientific Approach to Explore Consumers’ Intentions Towards Sustainability within the Luxury Fashion Industry

1
Research Unit in Affective and Social Neuroscience, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 20123 Milan, Italy
2
Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 20123 Milan, Italy
3
Department of Economics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, 20123 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5105; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185105
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 11 September 2019 / Accepted: 13 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
Little is presently known about customers’ expectations and the unspoken relevant factors which lead them to prefer or not sustainable luxury products. This study aimed to deepen the understanding of luxury consumers’ implicit intentions towards sustainability by using, for the first time, a neuroscientific approach applied to the luxury fashion domain. A greater cortical activity related to cognitive and emotional aspects was hypothesized for luxury sustainability-oriented consumers than for non-sustainability-oriented subjects when presented with sustainability-related cues. Sixteen luxury consumers were divided into two groups according to their sensitivity towards sustainability issues. They were asked to observe a set of 10 stimuli depicting sustainability issues and then to interact with a salesperson while their cortical activity was recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG). Frequency band analysis revealed higher levels of beta, delta, and theta band EEG activity in temporoparietal than frontocentral areas when observing pictures related to sustainability and a specific right temporoparietal theta band activation for the Nonsustainable Group. An increased level of knowledge of sustainability themes was confirmed by the correct detection of stimuli valence and a significant presence of delta power when the salesperson explained the brand’s sustainable policy. The specific brain responses related to sensitivity towards sustainability and the different effect of knowledge on sustainability topics based on group differences are discussed here in light of emotional behavior. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; luxury; high fashion; consumer neuroscience; EEG; frequency band analysis sustainability; luxury; high fashion; consumer neuroscience; EEG; frequency band analysis
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Balconi, M.; Sebastiani, R.; Angioletti, L. A Neuroscientific Approach to Explore Consumers’ Intentions Towards Sustainability within the Luxury Fashion Industry. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5105.

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