Encouraging Environmentally Appropriate Behavior: The Role of Intrinsic Motivation

Journal of Environmental Systems 01/1986; 15(4):1-1. DOI: 10.2190/3FWV-4WM0-R6MC-2URB
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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 30, 2013
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    • "Although most research has focused on negative self-directed emotions, there is reason to believe that positive self-directed emotions could motivate proenvironmental behavior. For example, De Young (1985, 1986) found that personal satisfaction and positive emotions were the most important reasons people gave for recycling. "
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    ABSTRACT: Guilt occurs when people realize they have violated personal or social standards for behavior. For example, past research found that confronting Whites for racist behavior created guilt, which motivated behavior change. Carbon footprint calculators provide a venue for self-confrontation about the impact of one's behavior on the envi-ronment. In Study 1, participants were randomly assigned to learn their carbon footprint was larger or smaller than the average United States' citizen. Participants confronted with a larger-than-average carbon footprint reported more personal guilt, but not shame or anger, than participants who learned they had a smaller-than-average carbon footprint. In Study 2, participants confronted with evidence that Americans had a larger carbon footprint than other industrialized nations reported more collective guilt, but no less collective pride, than participants who learned Americans had a smaller carbon footprint. Collective guilt then partially mediated the association between carbon footprint feedback and support for a proenvironmental group.
    Ecopsychology 03/2013; 5(1):9-16. DOI:10.1089/eco.2012.0067
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    • "Frugal people also avoid waste (DeYoung, 1986) and tend to conserve and administer carefully the things they use or possess, so that they last longer. This is probably not the most common use of the term, but such behavior is commonly found in frugal people. "
    Article: Frugality
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    ABSTRACT: Frugality is a little studied virtue, but one that is important to the lives of individuals and families, communities and broader societies. In this article we consider what we mean by frugality and discuss its role in the decision-making process, within action theory. This leads us to a normative explanation of why frugality is needed and what it signifies.
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    • "without the presence of extrinsic rewards to motivate them. Milbrath (1984) and McKenzie-Mohr and Oskamp (1995) proposed the concept of sustainable change as something resembling the concept of intrinsic motivation defined by De Young ( 1986a, l986b). In order to achieve sustainable environmental change, it is necessary for individuals to understand hou to surmount the various culturally specific barriers to environmental action and to adopt behaviors that could be maintained and integrated in their lifestyles. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study is to examine the combined contribution of 2 predictors of environmental behaviors, self-determined motivation and information about a particular environmental issue (viz., perceived environmental health risks). The hypothesized model was tested with 761 participants from the general population using structural equation modeling. Self-determined motivation was found to predict both environmental behaviors and the tendency to seek information on health risks coming from 2 main sources (federal government agencies and public groups), which led to more confidence in those sources of information. In turn, confidence in the different sources of information was found to be significantly associated with perceptions of environmental health risks. Finally these perceptions were also found to be predictors of environmental behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of 2 possible processes that could facilitate environmental behaviors.
    Journal of Applied Social Psychology 07/2006; 29(8):1582 - 1604. DOI:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb02043.x
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