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Selfishness and consumer ethics: Does (non)religiosity matter?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 07:35 authored by Denni ArliDenni Arli, Tjiptono, F
During the COVID-19 pandemic, frenzied selfishness and panic buying have dominated headlines around the globe. When people hoard supplies, others (including the needy and vulnerable people) cannot find necessities. Despite repeated calls from leaders, people worldwide continue to hoard supplies, and millions of people ignore coronavirus concerns, including churches. Hence, the purpose of this study is first to investigate the impact of consumers' (non) religiosity on selfishness and, subsequently, the impact of selfishness on consumers' ethical beliefs. Secondly, we explore do people's religiosity matters? Are religious people more ethical and less selfish than atheists or vice versa? This study uses the convenience sampling approach to investigate consumers' ethical beliefs. The sample was collected through Amazon M-Turk and totaled 235 responses. The results show that consumers' intrinsic religiosity did not significantly influence consumers' selfishness. Furthermore, extrinsic religiosity and atheism positively influence consumers' selfishness. Finally, the results show that selfishness is prevalent in every group irrespective of the group's belief or nonbelief status. The results indicate that when exploring consumer ethics, the key measure should not only focus on consumers' religiousness or lack of religiousness but, instead, it should also include consumers' selfishness. This study offers several implications for non-profit organizations dealing with ethical issues, and secondly, the study will have implications for ethical education among religious or non-religious consumers. Originality/value-This is one of the first few studies investigating the impact of consumers' religiosity on selfishness. In addition, this study investigates differences between religious and non-religious consumers on consumer ethics.


Publication title

Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing

Article number









John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open-access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Business ethics; Religion and society

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