Does seeing bad make you do good?
Journal of Business Research (Journal)
Imagine this: you're at a store, and you see someone shoplift. It's a small transgression, but it still gnaws at you. You start to feel like you need to do something to make up for what you just witnessed. This is the concept of "vicarious moral compensation." And it's exactly what this research set out to explore.
By examining the impact of witnessing immoral behavior in a retail setting on consumers' response to cause marketing products, this study sheds light on a growing trend in the retail industry: relying on cause marketing to drive sales. And what did they find? That seeing bad behavior can indeed make people more likely to purchase cause marketing products as a way of making up for what they just witnessed.