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Understanding the Influence of Environmental Standards on Judgments and Choices

Ann E. Tenbrunsel, Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni, David M. Messick and Max H. Bazerman
The Academy of Management Journal
Vol. 43, No. 5 (Oct., 2000), pp. 854-866
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1556414
Page Count: 13
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Understanding the Influence of Environmental Standards on Judgments and Choices
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Abstract

This article offers a cognitive account of the means versus ends focus of environmental regulation. The first of two studies suggests that standards (the means) exert an influence on judgments of proposed environmental solutions that is independent of the extent to which those solutions protect the environment (the ends). Standard-based decisions produce cognitive distortions, artificially enhancing the attractiveness of standard-conforming solutions over that of nonconforming solutions. Our second study suggests that "means" solutions tend to be preferred over "ends" solutions when one environmental proposal is examined. This pattern of preference can be reversed through the simultaneous evaluation of two proposals.

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