New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: Expanding and Evaluating Motives for Environmentally Responsible Behavior

University of Michigan
Journal of Social Issues (Impact Factor: 1.96). 12/1999; 56(3):509 - 526. DOI: 10.1111/0022-4537.00181


This article contends that while striving to promote environmentallyresponsible behavior, we have focused attention too narrowly on just two classes of motives. There is a need to expand the range of motives available to practitioners and to provide a framework within which motives can be evaluated for both their immediate and long-term effectiveness. The article then examines a strategy for promoting environmentally responsible behavior that has significant potential. This strategy is based on a particular form of motivation called intrinsic satisfaction. Nine studies are reviewed that have outlined the structure of intrinsic satisfaction. A key theme discussed is the human inclination for competence. This fundamental human concern is shown to have both a general form and a resource-specific version.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young,
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    • "Other studies have started to address the positive psychological states that many people experience as a result of their pro-environmental behavior. These states include psychological well-being, satisfaction, self-efficacy, autonomy, and happiness (Brown and Kasser 2005; De Young 2000; Corral- Verdugo et al. 2011), among others. This paper intended to sketch an ecological approach to the study of psychological positivity, which is represented in a model of positive environments. "

    Environment Development and Sustainability 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10668-015-9701-7
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    • "Only recently has research focused on using this direct yet gentler means of encouraging the adoption of behaviors compatible with durable living. Data from over three decades of research provide insight on intrinsic satisfaction (see, for instance [1], [2] and [3]). These data indicate that people derive a series of distinct satisfactions from environmentallyappropriate behavior. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Framework for the notion of behavioral entrepreneurship.
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    • "In sum, if a plastic bag charge motivates people to reduce their plastic bag use because of the monetary incentive, durable behavior changes may be less likely because people are likely to act like they did before as soon as the incentive would be removed. Yet, when a plastic bag charge motivates people to reduce plastic bag use because it activates or strengthens their intrinsic motivation to do so, behavior changes may be more durable because intrinsic motives provide a more stable basis for behavior change (De Groot & Steg, 2009; De Young, 2000; Steg, Bolderdijk, Keizer, & Perlaviciute, 2014). Therefore, it is important to understand the processes that underlie the effects of a plastic bag charge. "
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    ABSTRACT: Two field studies tested the effects of a charge for single-use plastic bags recently implemented in Buenos Aires City, Argentina. Study 1 showed a greater increase in consumers’ own bag use after the charge was introduced in supermarkets where the policy was introduced, in comparison to control supermarkets where the charge was not introduced, or was introduced later in time. The effects were even stronger two months later. Study 2 analyzed factors underlying policy support and own bag use six month after the charge was introduced. Policy supporters highlighted environmental benefits of the charge, while opponents stressed the financial costs. Moreover, most consumers indicated that they carried their own bags to protect the environment, suggesting that intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivations caused behavioral changes. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
    Journal of Environmental Psychology 12/2014; 40. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvp.2014.09.004 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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