The greenness of a product has become increasingly important to consumers, but how do they decide how green a product is in the first place? A new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests that consumers believe that products with central rather than peripheral recycled features are greener (even when they are not).

“The greenness of central features, that is, the defining characteristics of the product, will lead to greater perception of the overall greenness of the product compared with the greenness of non-central product features,” write authors Andrew D. Gershoff (University of Texas) and Judy K. Frels (University of Maryland). “A central attribute with an environmental benefit will imbue the entire product with greenness.”

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