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

Environment and Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.27). 01/1993; 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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