When the craze for organic foods and hybrid cars reached mainstream popularity so did being “smug.” It appears that the creators of South Park were right on when they wrote their episode “Smug Alert!” that showed how being green by buying a hybrid car brought out the smug in people.
The self-righteous attitude is not limited to hybrids, organic food buyers are guilty of it too.
A recent study published in the “Social Psychological and Personality Science” journal, shows that organic eaters often look down on non-organic eaters and judge them for it. The study divided 60 people into three groups: organic food, comfort foods and a control that was neither. The organic group was less likely to help a stranger and held harsher moral judgments toward others.
According to the study:
“After viewing a few organic foods, comfort foods, or control foods, participants who were exposed to organic foods volunteered significantly less time to help a needy stranger, and they judged moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed nonorganic foods. These results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities, which attenuates their desire to be altruistic.”
“There’s something about being exposed to organic food that made them feel better about themselves,” said Kendall Eskine, the study’s author, reports Newser. “And that made them kind of jerks a little bit, I guess.”
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