Do I Care? Pathological Apathy in the Context of Sustainable Consumption

  • Spencer M. Ross
  • Paula Dootson
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


A number of theories explain why consumers engage in behaviors consistent with their attitudes. We question whether strong consumer attitudes always align with motivations and that the absence of motivation may subvert intention. Disconnects between attitudes and behaviors may actually be the result of pathological apathy (Marin, Am J Psychiatry 147:22–30, 1990; Radakovic and Abrahams, Psychiatry Res 219:658–663, 2014)—or the absence of an individual’s motivation—decreasing intentions. A pilot study in the context of sustainability determines the moderating effects of pathological apathy on the attitudes-intention relationship. The pilot study findings indicate pathological apathy amplifies a relationship between positive attitudes toward sustainability and conventional purchase intentions. Implications for further research are discussed.


Apathy Indifference Motivation Consumer pathology Sustainable consumption 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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