Changing Behavior and Making it Stick: The Conceptualization and Management of Conservation Behavior

Environment and Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.27). 05/1993; 25(4):485-505. DOI: 10.1177/0013916593253003
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT A sustainable planet is not possible without patterns of conserving behavior. The resource-costly life-styles that are characteristic of the current scene present a historic challenge. Never before have so many behaviors needed to change in so short a time. More challenging is that they must stay changed. For many reasons the techniques commonly used to promote conservation behavior are more reliable at modulating short-term behavior than at achieving durable change. The perceived urgency of environmental problems tends to make immediate behavior change the major focus. But of equal importance is the stability of behavior once changed. Thus one goal of conservation behavior research is to discover techniques that change individual behavior while minimizing or eliminating the need for repeated intervention. This article categerorizes behavior change techniques first by their informational or motivational nature and second by the source of the change: derived from others or gained by direct personal involvement. Evaluating selected techniques using five proposed dimensions suggests why durable behavior change has been so hard to achieve. Research implications are discussed.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 29, 2013
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    • "Under the right circumstances, habit and information gaps about existing options may be overcome (Gärling and Schuitema, 2007). Although campaigns attempting to change behavior by promising social and environmental incentives have brought some disappointing results (De Young, 1993), research has demonstrated the value of socio-psychological models in affecting behavior change by addressing day-to-day convenience and lack of knowledge about existing options (Costanzo et al., 1986; Stern, 2000). For example, in the recycling field, Viscusi et al. (2012) found that motivations for recycling included private values regarding the environment as well as economic incentives, either direct (provided to the individual) or indirect (government programs that reduce private costs of recycling). "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban college campuses often face challenges providing maximum transportation accessibility. Many believe strategies to ‘push’ and ‘pull’ individuals out of private automobiles will reduce emissions and mitigate the need for parking. This study focuses on UC Berkeley’s evaluation of a program that conducts targeted outreach to encourage shifts away from driving. The program provides customized information on commute alternatives, and is evaluated using descriptive as well as inferential statistics, focusing on effectiveness. Although the sample size is small, the findings show that a large component of program participants (8%) changed modes. Interviews with commuters evaluated potential barriers, including the adequacy, safety and convenience of alternatives. The study concluded that information alone is not adequate to draw individuals away from autos; other efforts to reach patrons must make driving alternatives easy and appealing. More research is needed on the interplay between outreach efforts and mode shift. Additional research and policy outcomes for urban campuses include: (1) a focus on information technology aided ride matching or carpooling; and (2) an increased focus on the telework environment. These strategies can assist urban campuses to refine comprehensive transportation demand management programs.
    Transportation Research Part A Policy and Practice 08/2015; 78. DOI:10.1016/j.tra.2015.05.012 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    • "Although self-reported engagement in various forms of conservation behaviors (e.g., habitat enhancement, joining an environmental group, donation to conservation) occurred much more infrequently, our findings supported the hypothesized positive association between wildlife recreation and engagement in conservation-oriented activities. As concerns regarding low levels of public adoption of PEB— and conservation behaviors specifically—escalate, scholars attempting to identify interventions that effectively encourage PEB have uncovered a range of useful strategies including education, marketing, incentives, and other approaches aimed at building enduring commitment and self-efficacy (Hungerford and Volk 1990, De Young 1993, Heimlich and Ardoin 2008, Steg and Vlek 2009). Our data suggest that the promotion of wildlife-based recreation activities such as birdwatching and hunting could be an additional strategy. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is a widely held assumption that outdoor experiences are a key precursor to pro-environmental behavior (PEB). We tested the hypothesis that wildlife recreationists are more likely than non-recreationists to voluntarily engage in different types of PEB, grouped as conservation behaviors and environmental lifestyle behaviors. Via mail and web-based surveys of rural New York residents (n = 941), we compared the self-reported PEBs of 4 types of recreationists: hunters, birdwatchers, hunter–birdwatchers (i.e., individuals who regularly engaged in both activities), and non-nature-based recreationists. We statistically controlled for group differences in socio-demographic characteristics and environmental beliefs. We found wildlife recreationists—both hunters and birdwatchers—were 4–5 times more likely than non-recreationists to engage in conservation behaviors, which included a suite of activities such as donating to support local conservation efforts, enhancing wildlife habitat on public lands, advocating for wildlife recreation, and participating in local environmental groups. Moreover, effects were additive; hunter–birdwatchers had the greatest likelihood of engaging in all types of conservation behaviors. On the other hand, engagement in environmental lifestyle behaviors such as recycling, energy conservation, and green purchasing were roughly comparable among all types of wildlife recreationists and non-recreationists. Our findings of elevated rates of conservation behaviors among hunters and birdwatchers despite different demographic attributes and environmental beliefs highlight the similar conservation potential associated with different types of wildlife recreation. Diversified strategies that include programs to encourage both hunting and birdwatching are likely to bring about long-term gains for conservation. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.
    Journal of Wildlife Management 03/2015; 79(3). DOI:10.1002/jwmg.855 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "Under the right circumstances, habit and information gaps about existing options may be overcome (Gä rling and Schuitema, 2007). Although campaigns attempting to change behavior by promising social and environmental incentives have brought disappointing results (De Young, 1993), research has also demonstrated the value of socio-psychological models that induce behavior change by addressing day-to-day convenience and lack of knowledge about existing options (Costanzo et al., 1986; Stern, 2000). Programs promoting commute alternatives through business associations and major employers have been established in response to congestion problems in several areas. "
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    ABSTRACT: Universities with urban campuses and constrained budgets such as the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) often find that repurposing parking facilities is more cost effective than obtaining new land for expansion. In spring 2013, UC Berkeley began closing off parking sites for building construction. However, rather than exploring the construction of new parking the campus began to explore targeted outreach encourage mode-shift for drivers whose travel patterns have been directly impacted.
    Case Studies on Transport Policy 02/2015; 3(2). DOI:10.1016/j.cstp.2015.01.004
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