STUDY: Hummer owners believe they've made "a highly moral consumption choice"

There probably isn't any one passenger vehicle on earth that earns more ire from environmentalists than the Hummer H2. While the reality of the matter is that most Hummers aren't really much worse when it comes to fuel mileage and overall emissions than any other giant SUV (most civilian Hummers are, in fact, based largely on truck platforms from General Motors) the brand has seemingly been made into the poster child of American excess.

Interestingly, however, according to a small study of 20 Hummer owners published in the J ournal of Consumer Research, that stigma may actually be a selling point for those who purchase Hummers. According to the authors of the study:
As we studied American Hummer owners and their ideological beliefs, we found that they consider Hummer driving a highly moral consumption choice. For Hummer owners it is possible to claim the moral high ground... The moralistic critique of their consumption choices readily inspired Hummer owners to adopt the role of the moral protagonist who defends American national ideals.
It's hard to argue that this report offers a conclusive look into the minds of Hummer owners and Hummer haters alike – especially when the sample size is so small – and we doubt it's going to put an end to the debate over the seemingly conflicting rights of Americans to purchase the vehicle of their choice, consume or conserve whatever resources they deem necessary and breathe clean air. That said, it's an interesting bit of research, no?

[Source: Journal of Consumer Research - sub. req'd; via Wired]

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