Please spend if you can. Travel to the regions and do all the things they are famous for. Get on a plane, jump in the car. Do it for the team of 5 million.
In a nutshell
- Kiwis are being asked to start spending and travelling again to support the economy. But, aren't we also supposed to be behaving sustainably? And isn't saving, not spending, more prudent right now?
- We're faced with conflicting ideas - the push to help recovery through spending has us spinning with indecision around what is the right thing to do.
- How should companies to talk to people to reduce this cognitive dissonance? There are three key ways people resolve the dissonance - start there.
It's a thank you and a pay back for the deep pain we suffered for the collective good. Do your bit to get the economy moving again.
But aren’t we supposed to be backing off adding to carbon emissions? Don’t we already have too much stuff? Isn’t the sustainability movement asking us to think twice before adding to the sum of things that deplete natural resources and create disposability problems.
There are also issues around moral norms as regards conspicuously spending that cause cognitive dissonance. When the media is reporting job losses, providing information about levels of unemployment payments, and featuring stories about people who are falling between the cracks in the system, how good does that make you feel about spending big on a night out or a weekend away at a luxury resort. Or just make you wonder if saving not spending would be prudent.
Our overtired brains have segued from the cognitive overload that the loss of habits and routines caused during lockdown to cognitive dissonance. It’s called cognitive dissonance when we are faced with conflicting ideas and things don’t seem to fit together well. And, the push to help the recovery through spending, has us spinning with indecision about what is the right thing to do.
There are three ways people resolve cognitive dissonance:
- Change our beliefs or behaviour to make things fit, become consonant.
- Find information (fake or otherwise) that shows us that things are aligned after all.
- Reduce the importance of the non-aligned belief or behavior.
What we know.
First, let's look at what we know. Our Paymark dashboard shows that there was an initial rush to spend, the predicted revenge shopping did materialise. Since then, we've seen a flattening curve which was a goal for the COVID virus, but not what the economy needs for spending patterns. How can we keep the spending momentum going after the initial thirst is sated?