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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    • "Research on collective action for environmental issues has increasingly recognized the role of internal motivations in successful long-term action for providing environmental goods and services (Ostrom, 1998; Muradian and Rival, 2012; Mauerhofer et al., 2013; Vallino, 2014). In general, support for internal motivations for nature has been linked to improved performance both in environmental policy compliance and environmental responsibility (De Young, 2000; Pelletier, 2002; DeCaro and Stokes, 2013). Scholars have documented these effects for a broad variety of actors both from market, civil society, and government backgrounds (Lemieux et al., 2012; Bolderdijk et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the possibility of building a mutually supportive dynamics between internally and externally motivated behaviour for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision. To this purpose a face to face survey amongst 169 key actors of 34 highly successful and prominent biodiversity arrangements in seven EU countries was conducted. The main finding of the paper is the feasibility of combining inherently intrinsically motivated behaviours (providing enjoyment, pleasure from experimentation and learning, aesthetic satisfaction) and internalized extrinsic motivations (related to the identification with the collective goals of conservation policy) through a common set of governance features. Successful initiatives that combine internal and external motivations share the following features: inclusive decision making processes, a broad monitoring by “peers” beyond the core staff of the initiatives, and a context that is supportive for the building of autonomous actor competences. These findings are in line with the psycho-sociological theory of motivation, which shows the importance of a psycho-social context leading to a subjective perception of autonomy and a sense of competence of the actors.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Environmental Science & Policy
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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. "
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    ABSTRACT: Inspired by the emergence of the positive psychology (PP) movement, recent environmental psychology studies have identified a need for further inquiry into “positive environments” (PEs). Recognizing that PP has largely neglected the role of environmental factors in the appearance of positivity, this paper proposes the study of person–environment relations in order to explain human well-being, psychological growth, sustainable behaviors, and other psychological positive factors, in addition to studying the material and social well-being that a positive environment provides. The traditional view of environmental positivity (i.e., the environment as an inexhaustible and infinite source of resources that satisfy human needs) is contrasted against an ecological vision of PE in which the conservation of the quality of the environment is as important as the satisfaction of human needs. A definition of positive environment is presented and discussed, which conceives PE as a context that promotes individual and collective benefits and that also influences human predispositions to conserve—in the long run—the sociophysical structures on which life depends.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Environment Development and Sustainability
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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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