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Global Social Norms and Environmental Behavior

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Abstract

We adopt a recently introduced incentivized method to elicit widely shared beliefs concerning (a) social norms, (b) environmental effect, and (c) difficulty of a wide range of environmental behaviors. We establish that these characteristics, as reflected in elicited beliefs recorded in one sample, predict (out-of-sample) environmental behaviors in a second separate sample. Pro-environmental behaviors perceived to be more socially appropriate and easier to perform, in particular, are more likely to be chosen. We show that subjective social norms mediate the effect of “global” (widely shared) social norms on behavior, which improves our understanding of the normative processes underlying pro-environmental action. Our use of an incentivized elicitation method might moreover mitigate problems associated with conventional surveys, such as social desirability bias, consistency bias, and inattentive responding, as discussed in the article.

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... Another possibility, however, is that, this question format -the most used formulation for measuring subjective norms -could lead respondents to refer, if not to a well-defined group, at least to a well-defined range of people. In particular, it could lead most respondents to refer to people who are affectively and positively important for them, i.e., people with whom they share close and personally meaningful relationships (e.g., Vesely and Klöckner, 2018). These people are typically family members, partners and close friends, who play a primary role in an individual's behavioral decisions in many domains, including those where the TPB has been widely tested and received the greatest support (like, for example, the health domain). ...
... It should be noted, then, that our study provides further evidence to the idea that the effect of local norms on respondents' intentions differs substantially from the effects of norms derived from people with whom an individual has affective bonds (like for e.g., family members, close friends, and partners), who may also live nearby. The latter type of normative influence, which is of paramount importance in people's life, seems to be well captured by the subjective norms construct included in the TPB, and it may depend on a number of psychological processes likely activated by close relationships (affection, interdependence, identification, etc.; for alternative explanations see e.g., Vesely and Klöckner, 2018). The additional influence of local norms on behavioral intentions (within the TPB), instead, derives from different psychological and psychosocial processes, probably linked to the individual's awareness of the implications of sharing a certain social-physical environment with a number of other people (e.g., Granovetter, 1973). ...
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This paper aims to deepen the understanding of the role of “local norms” in explaining ecological behavior within Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. A longitudinal investigation (overall N = 222), focused on households waste recycling, tested the hypothesis that the effects of this type of norms on behavioral intentions varies as a function of the individual’s spatial proximity to the social categories relevant to the social-physical context (in this study: housemates, neighbors, inhabitants of the district or quarter, and inhabitants of the city) in which the behavior takes place. The hypothesis was confirmed and we also showed that the effects of local norms are empirically distinguishable from those of the social norms already considered by the model (i.e., subjective norms). Local norms, also have a direct influence on self-reported recycling behavior measured 1 month after intentions. We propose possible theoretical explanations for the results obtained and discuss the implications for applicative purposes.
... Therefore, a great deal of effort has been recently devoted in scientific studies to understand what can be done to effectively tackle this issue and how this can be achieved. From the standpoint of psychological science, a key issue resides in understanding what intra and inter-personal psychological factors are associated with pro-environmental attitudes and behavior (e.g., Vesely & Klöckner, 2017). Such a human behavior has been defined in various ways. ...
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In recent years mindfulness has been considered as a potential source of pro-environmental attitudes and behavior. Present research is aimed at consolidating and expanding previous knowledge by proposing that mindfulness is related to both pro-environmental behavior and belief in global climate change through social dominance orientation. A first study was conducted on undergraduate students (n = 279) and found, as expected, that trait mindfulness was related to pro-environmental behavior through SDO. A second study using a known groups approach compared practitioners (n = 44) and non-practitioners (n = 53) of Buddhist meditation, which is known to develop a mindful stance. Moreover, in Study 2 a measure of belief in global climate change was adopted as a further outcome. Again trait mindfulness was related to both pro-environmental outcomes through SDO. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
... The indirect questioning technique (where participants' beliefs about others' behavior are treated as a proxy for selfreports of participants' own behavior) can be said to in part tap perceived descriptive norms, rather than to indirectly measure own behavioral tendencies (see, e.g., Lusk and Norwood, 2010;Klaiman et al., 2016). The scope of behaviors and beliefs that can be assessed through incentivized and objective measures is restricted (Schultz et al., 2007;Juhl et al., 2017;Vesely and Klöckner, 2018). For additional approaches of coping with social desirability bias, see, e.g., Warner (1965), Paulhus (1981), Nederhof (1985), Krumpal (2013), Korndörfer et al. (2014). ...
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That social desirability might be a confounder of people's survey responses regarding environmental actions has been discussed for a long time. To produce evidence for or against this assumption, we conducted meta-analyses of correlations between social desirability scales and self-reports of environmentally relevant behaviors, intentions, and (broadly defined) attitudes, based on data from 29 previously published papers. The pooled correlations with social desirability are generally small, ranging from 0.06 to 0.11 (0.08–0.13 when correcting for measurement error attenuation). However, our results do not lead to the conclusion that social desirability can be completely disregarded by environmental psychologists as a potential confounder. For example, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity across studies, so the effect of social desirability may be more pronounced in specific cases. Continued attention to social desirability bias is needed to fully understand its possible subtle effects.
... A strong normative motive indicates that people are likely to evaluate adverse environmental consequences and therefore act appropriately to the reverse those (Lindenberg and Steg, 2007). An increasing number of scholars have recognized the fundamental role of personal and social norms as significant determinants of environmental behavior (Doran and Larsen, 2016;Hynes and Wilson, 2016;Farrow et al., 2017;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017). ...
Article
This study explored how motives and knowledge are associated with intention to adopt environmental behavior through the mediating role of constraints. Additionally, it assessed structural models of associations among barriers to environmental behavior, motives, and environmental knowledge. Two broad types of barriers were assessed (psychological and structural barriers) to shed light on the limiting factors of environmental behavior. Drawing on the Goal Framing Theory, we investigated three incentive types that motivate individuals to participate in pro-ecological activities, namely gain, hedonic and normative motives. A questionnaire survey method was used to obtain a representative sample of Greek citizens (n = 1551). We applied Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to assess the reliability and validity of the study constructs and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to test the research hypotheses and reveal the interrelationships among the variables. The main findings indicated that barriers mediate the impact of environmental knowledge and motivation on intention. Normative and hedonic motives had a significant negative impact on all types of barriers, while gain goals significantly but negatively influenced constraints. The possible contribution of the research findings to the literature or the design of policy interventions that consider knowledge, constraints and motives to environmental behavior, and future research directions are discussed.
... Specifically, the present work examines the influence of injunctive social norms (Cialdini et al., 1991) which have a "[…] moral tone and characterize what people should do […]" (Christensen et al., 2004(Christensen et al., , p. 1296. Previous studies have shown that social norms positively influenced emission reductions in households (Horne and Kennedy, 2017), acceptability of environmental policies (de Groot and Schuitema, 2012), various pro-environmental behaviors (Vesely and Klöckner, 2017), sustainable transport choices (Kormos et al., 2014) and intentions to recycle (Wan et al., 2017). ...
Article
This paper examines the impact of climate targets which have been adapted to individuals’ behavior based on global political events. As the global climate targets of the Paris Agreement are largely supported by society, we investigate the potential of these targets to lead to personal and social norms concerning individual contributions to the Paris Agreement´s climate goals. We assume that these norms mediate the influence of personal involvement in the Paris agreement and of environmental values on greenhouse gas avoiding decisions. Also, we expect that these norms predict greenhouse gas avoiding behavior, rather than norms related to climate change. The research is based on a laboratory study with students conducted in December 2017 in Germany (n = 226). The main results show for the students surveyed in the research that norms in favor of contribution to the Paris Agreement substantially influence objective carbon offsetting, as well as consumption of local food and green electricity; and these norms partially mediate the influence of personal involvement in the Paris Agreement and of environmental values on decision-making.
... Growing public awareness as activists expose questionable state and corporate conduct can aid diffusion too, as we see with the transnational campaigns to shame global brands for fueling conflict by purchasing gold or diamonds from criminal gangs and insurgents. Norms that are easy for individuals to conform with and that are simple to articulate across cultures also tend to diffuse more smoothly through societal networks and state institutions (Vesely & Klöckner, 2018). ...
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Since the 1960s environmental norms have emerged as a defining force in world politics. Scholars who study environmental communication have demonstrated the power of a great diversity of global norms, from the belief that development should be sustainable to the belief that commercial whaling is morally wrong. Global environmental norms have tended to emerge when the scientific consensus of harm is consolidating, health fears are high, the power of advocates is rising, compliance is easy, and resistance is weak. There are, however, very few truly global environmental norms in terms of societal acceptance and state compliance. Offering an original typology of norm diffusion, this article shows that the majority of environmental ideas and norms have become ensnared in local cycles of contestation, with widely varying meanings and uneven consequences. Local power struggles over values, natural capital, and patronage help explain which environmental ideas turn into global norms, how these norms diffuse, and with what meanings. This translocal politics also helps explain why so many environmental norms struggle to improve conditions on the ground, as well as why, over time, ideas that challenge the liberal world order tend to fall to the wayside.
... Actions that unavoidably have negative consequences for the environment but are the least harmful alternative (e.g., choosing train travel instead of flying) can be considered pro-environmental behavior as well. The effects of social norms on pro-environmental behavior receives continued interest from researchers in search of ways of how various subcategories of norms function when compared to one another, as well as in different contexts, and how to make them more effective in general [5][6][7][8]. ...
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The aim of the present study is to assess whether reinforcing imagery affects the emotional valence and effectiveness of pro-environmental public service announcements (PSAs). Two experiments that utilized PSAs constructed from a combination of text-based appeal and an image were carried out. The first experiment used the following appeals; (1) highlighting injunction, (2) highlighting injunction together with a negative descriptive norm, and (3) highlighting injunction together with a positive descriptive norm. These appeals were written on a photograph that either depicted nature scenery or the same scenery with digitally added litter. The results of the first experiment demonstrated that a congruent combination of text appeals highlighting injunction together with a positive descriptive norm and positive descriptive imagery elicits the most positive emotions when compared to other appeal and image combinations. The second experiment demonstrated that appeals with positive descriptive norms and an injunctive message coupled with a congruent descriptive image affect behavioral intention more than appeals with an injunctive only message coupled with a congruent descriptive image, thus demonstrating the additive effect of descriptive imagery and appeals presented together.
... Behavioral intention is "an indication of how hard people are willing to try, of how much of an effort they are planning to exert, in order to perform the behavior" (Ajzen et al., 1991, p. 181). According to the TPB, individuals' behavior is guided by behavioral beliefs about the possible outcomes of the behavior and the evaluations of the corresponding outcomes that produce a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the action (Vesely and Klöckner, 2017). Attitudes are formulated depending on beliefs about the perceived costs and benefits of acting in a pro-environmental manner (Steg and Nordlund, 2013;p0.186). ...
Article
This study explores the determinants of environmental behavior in a private-sphere context and proposes an integrative model that includes the constructs from two theoretical frameworks, the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the value belief norm theory (VBN), along with two additional variables, habits and self-identity. A questionnaire survey method was used to collect the survey data and statistical analysis relied on application of structural equation modeling (SEM). The results show that intention is the best predictor of environmental behavior followed by habits and subjective norm is the main attendant of intention. Awareness of consequences has a positive impact on personal and subjective norms, attitudes and perceived behavioral control, while these constructs have in turn a significant influence on behavioral intention. Self-identity moderates the relationships between biospheric values and personal norm, attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The proposed model exhibit superior predictive ability compared to the original TPB and VBN models verifying its utility and effectiveness in explaining environmental behavior. The results of this work can be used by governments and policymakers to design and implement conservation programs to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. Recommendations for future research are discussed in the last section of this paper.
... This increase cannot be explained with incentives or policy measures alone, yet it is likely to underline the progressive development of stable social norms about sustainable consumption and pro-environmental behavior. In Western countries, social norms govern sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns, at least among some segments of the society (Demarque et al., 2015;Osbaldiston and Schott, 2012;Smith et al., 2012;De Groot et al., 2013;Reese et al., 2014), and they are also transmitted to the new generations (Félonneau and Becker, 2008;Vesely and Klöckner, 2018). Social norms can have a considerable impact over the adoption of sustainable products, especially those like food products, where structural barriers to product adoption are relatively low. ...
Article
Purpose: Surveys measuring consumers' preferences for sustainable food might suffer from socially desirable responding. Social desirability stems in part from social norms about sustainable lifestyles, when respondents need approval from others and when privacy is not guaranteed during survey completion. While various studies showed this phenomenon through laboratory experiments and by comparing different modes of survey administration, no research adopted factorial survey experiments (FSEs) to measure which factors are perceived by consumers as critical for socially desirable answering. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap, at least for young consumers in a case study with organic fruit. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 143 under-30 respondents were involved in an FSE. Each respondent evaluated six hypothetical scenarios (n ¼ 858) describing a consumer surveyed about his/her preferences for organic fruit. Respondents indicated whether they believed participants would have answered honestly or not to the survey described in each scenario. Generalized linear mixed models were used to model how scenario attributes were perceived to influence honest answering. Findings: Respondents believe that people are more prone to bias their answers the more they seek approval from others. Moreover, the presence of acquaintances during survey completion is another critical driver of survey misreporting. Originality/value: This study, by using a novel robust quasi-experimental approach, confirms that social desirability could lead consumers to misreport their preferences when surveyed about an organic fruit. This confirms that well-designed surveys, adopting proper remedies for social desirability should be adopted even for those food products, like fruit, which are usually deemed to be less subjected to misreporting. It also introduces FSEs as a flexible tool for collecting insights from consumers about potential antecedents of their behavior.
... The General Ecological Behaviour Scale (Kaiser 1998;Kaiser and Wilson 2004), the most widespread and used scale to assess EBs (e.g. Corral-Verdugo et al. 2015;De Dominicis et al. 2017;Otto et al. 2014;Scannell and Gifford 2010;Vesely and Klockner 2018), covers all Stern's categories. The scale showed good psychometrics properties (Kaiser 1998; Kaiser and Wilson 2004). ...
Article
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Given that human behaviour is a major cause of environmental problems, psychology can play a crucial role in the efforts to deal with environmental issues. Environmentally significant behaviours (EBs) are defined as behaviours that harm the (natural) environment as little as possible or that contribute to its protection. However, psychologists often assess behaviours that are the target of interest without knowing their influence on the ecological system. The Pro-Environmental Behaviours Scale (PEBS; Markle in Hum Ecol 41:905–914, 2013) is, to our knowledge, the only scale based on empirical evidence from environmental scientific studies that covers the principal EBs categories proposed in the literature (private-sphere environmentalist, activism, and nonactivist behaviours in the public sphere). The aim of this paper is to adapt the original PEBS to the Italian context (qualitative phase) and to verify its psychometric properties (e.g. factor structure) (quantitative phase). The original scale was slightly modified following a suggestion obtained in a focus group (n = 17) and in a pilot study (n = 18). On a sample of 765 Italian adults [70% female, mean (SD) age = 41.7 (12.2), 2 missing] results revealed a 4-factor structure (conservation, environmental citizenship, food, and transportation) of the Italian PEBS, like the original version (Markle 2013), maintaining 15 of the 19 original items (CFI = .973; RMSEA = .037: WRMR = 1.047; χ(84)² = 170.63, p < .001; explained variance = 42%). Other psychometrics properties were “good” or better. Results suggest that the Italian PEBS is a valid and reliable tool for assessing the principal EBs proposed by the literature as having a great impact on the environment.
... While training could be considered education, we considered education to be school-taught, formal education. Government-sponsored organic farming training represents both current societal norms and the transmission of subjective norms [56,92], so that farmers with more organic training had also received a sense of the current social expectations of farming "behavior" for agricultural producers [55]. Assuming that more recent environmental concepts are transmitted via formal education, we hypothesized that younger, more educated farmers' NICE valuations of their landscape would reflect their academically-acquired environmental concepts more so than the older, less educated, though more experienced, group. ...
Article
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Though agricultural landscape biodiversity and ecosystem service (ES) conservation is crucial to sustainability, agricultural land is often underrepresented in ES studies, while cultural ES associated with agricultural land is often limited to aesthetic and tourism recreation value only. This study mapped 7 nonmaterial-intangible cultural ES (NICE) valuations of 34 rural farmers in western Taiwan using the Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) methodology, to show the effect of farming practices on NICE valuations. However, rather than a direct causal relationship between the environmental characteristics that underpin ES, and respondents' ES valuations, we found that environmental data is not explanatory enough for causality within a socio-ecological production landscape where one type of land cover type (a micro mosaic of agricultural land cover) predominates. To compensate, we used a place-based approach with Google Maps data to create context-specific data to inform our assessment of NICE valuations. Based on 338 mapped points of 7 NICE valuations distributed among 6 areas within the landscape, we compared 2 groups of farmers and found that farmers' valuations about their landscape were better understood when accounting for both the landscape's cultural places and environmental characteristics, rather than environmental characteristics alone. Further, farmers' experience and knowledge influenced their NICE valuations such that farm areas were found to be sources of multiple NICE benefits demonstrating that farming practices may influence ES valuation in general.
... A tourist destination is a place where tourists' environmental behavior takes place. Environmental behavior refers to the individual behavior that can have an impact on the environment (Morren and Grinstein, 2016;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017). Combined with the specific content of this study, this paper argues that tourists' environmental behavior refers to the behavior that tourists exhibit in the tourist destination, which can have a positive or negative impact on the environment of the tourist destination. ...
Article
Editor: Damia Barcelo Human behavior is affected not only by individuals' own psychological factors but also by the surrounding environment and the behaviors of others. Existing studies on tourists' responsible environmental behaviors tend to focus only on tourists' own psychological and environmental factors while ignoring the referential role of other people's behavior. The behavioral reference of others in tourist destinations is an important situational factor that affects tourists' responsible environmental behaviors and has important research value. Based on the theory of planned behavior and taking the Zhongshan Mausoleum Scenic Area as an example, this paper explores the influence of other people's behavioral reference on tourists' responsible environmental behaviors by using the multi-group analysis method of structural equation modelling. The results show the following: (1) Tourists' attitudes toward environmental behavior and subjective norms have a significant positive impact on their responsible environmental behavioral intention, perceived behavioral control has a significant positive impact on their responsible environmental behavioral intention and their responsible environmental behaviors, and responsible environmental behavioral intention has a significant positive impact on responsible environmental behaviors. (2) Tourist destination behavioral reference plays a positive regulatory role in the relationship between tourists' responsible environmental behavioral intention and responsible environmental behaviors. Accordingly, this paper proposes relevant countermeasures and suggestions for the high-quality management and development of tourist destinations.
... Since a higher ability to observe internal and external stimuli may also be connected to the salience of social norms, a positive relationship between observing and social norms is plausible. At this point, in further studies, a distinction between descriptive and injunctive social norms or global and local social norms could be valuable in understanding the mechanism (Kormos et al. 2015;Vesely and Klöckner 2018). Fourth, an indirect effect of non-judging on goal intention, mediated by attitude, occurred unexpectedly. ...
Article
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Objectives The preference of organically grown foods can potentially decrease greenhouse gas emissions, which are related to climate change. Recent empirical studies suggest associations between dispositional mindfulness and self-reported pro-environmental behavior. In order to identify the potential and mechanisms of mindfulness with regard to pro-environmental behaviors, it is necessary to consider theories of action.Methods The present study examines the relationship between five facets of self-attributed mindfulness and organic food consumption considering a stage model of behavior change that includes different types of intentions and stage-specific predictors adapted from the theory of planned behavior and the norm-activation model. A cross-sectional online study was conducted with a sample of 560 participants. The mean age of the participants was 30 (SD = 10.5) years, and the sample consisted largely of females (76%). A minority reported regular meditation practice (8%).ResultsThe multivariate analyses showed a significant relationship between observing and goal intention (β = .317, p < .000) as well as the indirect effects of observing on goal intention that is mediated by personal norms and attitude. Further, people in the postaction stage have higher levels of observing than those in the predecision stage (p = .003, d = .43). Overall, the mindfulness facets contribute low to the explained variance of the stage model variables.Conclusion Consistent across the analyses, the mindfulness facet of observing was proved to be a particularly relevant predictor of organic food consumption-related variables. The investigation of the observing facet could be beneficial to understand associated mechanisms and starting points to promote pro-environmental behavior through mindfulness.
... Social norms are a strong driver of human behavior, and they can explain extensive and continued cigarette butt littering. People's perceptions of what is socially appropriate or inappropriate are highly predictive of actual behavior in abstract (Krupka and Weber 2013) and contextualized experiments (Loft et al 2019, Vesely andKlöckner 2018). In a built urban environment, the impact of social norms on behavior has been mostly discussed in relation to broken window theory (Harcourt and Ludwig 2006, Volker 2017, Wilson and Kelling 1982. ...
Article
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Cigarette littering in public spaces is an environmental and aesthetic problem. Broken windows theory posits that visible signs of antisocial behavior such as littering create the perception of a social norm in built environments. Cigarette butts on the ground then encourage people to drop theirs as well. We test this theory on benches of a university campus in a field experiment with two treatments: (1) a clean environment with no cigarette butts on the ground and (2) a dirty environment with 25 cigarette butts on the ground. Our outcome variable is the number of additional cigarette butts on the ground after two hours. We find a small effect of approximately 0.5 butts less per 2-hour period on clean grounds. Increased cleaning efforts can thus reduce littering, but the effect is probably too small to justify additional cleaning costs.
... Historical research reported by Gifford [45] suggests the tendency for environmentalists to be middleor upper-class individuals. The 'organic training' variable in this study represented both current societal norms and the transmission of subjective norms [45,47] so that farmers with more organic training not only had received state-sponsored technical training, but also a sense of the current social expectations and patterns of behavior for agricultural producers. ...
Article
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Local farmer knowledge is key to sustainable agriculture when organic farming promotes biodiversity conservation. Yet, farmers may not recognize ecosystem service (ES) benefits within their agricultural landscape. Surveys were administered to 113 farmers, and the opinions of 58 respondents toward organic farming were analyzed to identify influential variables when deciding to farm organically. We classified responses by geographic category within a socio-economic production landscape (SEPL), and by social influence categories. With principal component analysis (PCA), a two-scale, four-phased analysis was conducted. Coastal farmers (n = 22) were the most positive towards organic farming trends due to consumer demand. Plains farmers (n = 18) were highly interested in future opportunities for achieving consumer health and food safety objectives. Mountain farmers (n = 18) perceived the most organic transitioning barriers overall, namely irrigation. In all three geographic categories, farming decisions were not primarily related to biodiversity conservation or ES management, but rather to farming community patterns, consumer feedback, and a lack of barriers. Further, farmer opinions toward organic practices were more influenced by their life experiences than by school-taught concepts. Since no previous studies have assessed the knowledge, values, and opinions on organic farming of Taiwan’s west coast farmers from an ES perspective, the proposed approach both identifies farmers’ knowledge and opinions, and verifies a satoyama landscape with PCA results for informed decision making.
... With the exception of research on descriptive norms, defined as what most people do (Baca-Motes et al., 2013;Demarque et al., 2015;Elgaaied-Gambier et al., 2018;Goldstein et al., 2008;Nolan et al., 2008;Schultz, 1999;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017), few studies, particularly on consumer behaviour, have explored the relationship between norms and incentives to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours, whether in terms of a direct influence (e.g. prioritising the purchase of products that respect the environment, recycling, saving on water or electricity) or an indirect influence (e.g. ...
Article
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In the field of ethical consumption, research in recent years has attempted to explain the gap between principles and actual behaviour. Three experimental studies show that when the contradiction between what individuals say and what they do is made salient in the field of environmental protection, that is to say in a situation of induced hypocrisy, they indirectly reduce the resulting cognitive dissonance by being more altruistic towards associations that act for the environment but not towards humanitarian associations. This effect of induced hypocrisy fades as individuals become less vulnerable to the threat to the self by affirming values that are important to them.
... Namun, tidak menutup untuk sebaliknya, yakni norma deskriptif menjadi moderator untuk norma injungtif dalam mendorong perilaku peduli lingkungan. Penelitian belakangan ini menunjukan bahwa norma injungtif juga memiliki peran cukup penting dalam mengarahkan perilaku seseorang, sehingga peran norma injungtif perlu diperhitungkan lebih jauh lagi (Estrada et al., 2014;Vesely & Klöckner, 2018). Keterlibatan personal juga telah menjadi moderasi pada norma sosial (Göckeritz et al., 2010), dan pada pesan persuasif dalam mengarahkan perilaku menjelaskan bahwa keterlibatan personal juga menjadi moderasi yang cukup ber-pengaruh (Bai et al., 2018;2019 Dengan begitu, manfaat norma sosial sangat erat dalam kehidupan sehari-hari. ...
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Pro-environmental behavior is a solution to overcome environmental problems. Plastic straw waste, which was produced majorly from restaurant’s consumption, has been identified as one of the causes of the environmental damage. This research was conducted to examine the moderation effect of social norms to plastic straw usage among restaurant visitors. The uantitative method was used by using self-report questionnaires to measure descriptive norm, injunctive norm, and personal involvement. Data were collected from 106 respondents whose ages ranged from 18 to 54 years with the proportion of 44% male and 66% female. This study has four hypotheses, namely the injunctive norm moderates the relationship between descriptive norm and pro-environment behavior, personal involvement moderates the relationship between descriptive norm and pro-environmental behavior, descriptive norm moderates the relationship between injunctive norm and pro-environmental behavior, and personal involvement moderates the relationship between injunctive norm and pro-environmental behavior. Statistical analysis using IBM SPSS with the add-on PROCESS Hayes 3.4 was used to test the moderation effect. The study found that there are no significant results from the four hypotheses. Although all hypotheses were not proven, the descriptive norm was proved to have a moderation effect to relationship between the injunctive norm and pro-environmental behavior when the score of descriptive norms is moderate or high. Hence, injunctive norm has potential to increase pro-environment behavior when it is moderated by moderate or high levels of descriptive norm. Keywords: Descriptive norm, injunctive norm, personal involvement, pro- environmental behavior Abstrak: Perilaku peduli lingkungan adalah solusi untuk mengatasi masalah lingkungan. Salah satu penyebab masalah lingkungan dengan begitu banyaknya sampah sedotan plastik. Penelitian ini menguji interaksi moderasi dari norma sosial dan keterlibatan personal terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan pada pengunjung restoran terkait penggunaan sedotan plastik. Penelitian ini menggunakan metode kuantitatif terhadap 106 responden dengan rentang usia dari 18 – 54 tahun dan proporsi gender pria 44% dan perempuan 66%. Instrumen yang digunakan adalah alat ukur norma deskriptif, norma injungtif, dan keterlibatan personal. Penelitian ini menguji empat hipotesis, yakni; norma injungtif memoderasi norma deskriptif terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan, keterlibatan personal memoderasi norma deskriptif terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan, norma deskriptif memoderasi norma injungtif terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan, dan keterlibatan personal memoderasi norma injungtif terhadap terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan. Analisis statistik menggunakan IBM SPSS dengan add-on PROCESS Hayes 3.4 untuk melihat efek moderasi tersebut. Hasilnya, keempat hipotesis tidak terbukti. Meskipun keempat hipotesis ditolak tetapi norma deskriptif, ketika berada nilai moderat dan tinggi, memiliki pengaruh interaksi dalam memoderasi peran norma injungtif terhadap perilaku peduli lingkungan, Sehingga norma injungtif yang dimoderasi oleh norma deskriptif berpotensi untuk meningkatkan perilaku peduli lingkungan.
... With the exception of research on descriptive norms, defined as what most people do (Baca-Motes et al., 2013;Demarque et al., 2015;Elgaaied-Gambier et al., 2018;Goldstein et al., 2008;Nolan et al., 2008;Schultz, 1999;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017), few studies, particularly on consumer behaviour, have explored the relationship between norms and incentives to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours, whether in terms of a direct influence (e.g. prioritising the purchase of products that respect the environment, recycling, saving on water or electricity) or an indirect influence (e.g. ...
Article
Dans le domaine de la consommation pro-environnementale, les recherches se sont évertuées ces dernières années à expliquer l’écart existant entre les attitudes et les comportements effectifs. Trois études expérimentales montrent que lorsque la contradiction entre ce que les individus disent et ce qu’ils font est rendue saillante, c’est-à-dire dans une situation d’hypocrisie induite, ils réduisent de manière indirecte la dissonance cognitive qui en résulte en étant plus altruistes à l’égard d’associations qui agissent pour l’environnement mais pas pour des associations humanitaires. Cet effet de l’hypocrisie induite n’est plus significatif lorsque les individus ont pu, au préalable, affirmer leur Soi.
... Social norms constitute external influences from others and society that may encourage or inhibit a given behavior. In the context of PEB, this variable has been shown to exert a significant impact on behavioral intentions (de Leeuw, Valois, Ajzen, & Schmidt, 2015;Vesely & Klöckner, 2018). For example, Lima and Branco (2018) showed that recycling intentions were higher when social norms were also higher. ...
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Past research on environmentally sustainable behaviors has focused on the impact of a wide array of psychological factors, such as values, attitudes, norms, motivation, or perceptions, on behavior. The aim of this article is to study an alternative perspective by focusing on the effect of behavior on attitude, instead of the opposite, and by examining the mediation of satisfaction on that relationship. Drawing on both the self-perception and cognitive dissonance theories, we demonstrate that the expectancy disconfirmation model illuminates the conditions under which the past behavior-attitude link may improve. An online study with 409 U.S. citizens revealed that satisfaction mediates the positive behavior-attitude relationship, while this is not the case for the attitude-behavior relation. Our results also highlight the importance of multidimensional conceptualization for both proenvironmental behavior (PEB) and attitudes toward PEB, while providing useful guidelines for practitioners and policy makers.
... For example, if a researcher wants to assess the effect of social norms on the adoption of a specific food product, and is aware of the risk that respondents distort their answers due to self-deception, there would be little remedy in emphasizing privacy-protecting strategies, like ensuring the confidentiality of the findings. It would be way more useful to include measures to assess the extent to which consumers are inclined to manage their impression on others (e.g., a social desirability scale) or to use alternative elicitation procedures (e.g., elicitation experiments, Vesely & Klöckner, 2018). ...
Article
Social desirability bias could affect the results of research using self-reports, like questionnaires, which are the dominant approach to explore sustainable food consumption and its drivers. Despite various methodological and statistical approaches have been suggested to counteract social desirability, their use in research about sustainable food has not been systematically reviewed before. Therefore, a systematic literature review was carried out covering 388 peer-reviewed studies. The number of papers mentioning social desirability bias steadily increased since the 1990s. However, our results indicates that the overall proportion of relevant papers discussing it is low, with most of those doing so giving no clear indication about its causes and/or consequences for data quality. Moreover, few studies provide information about the data collection process, despite well-known situational factors influencing social desirability bias. A few papers implemented methodological remedies, like anonymity or proper scaling. Statistical remedies, like social desirability scales, were found in two studies only. Our findings suggest three major improvements in survey research about sustainable food. First, a better description of the data collection process is recommended, to better identify the limitations and strengths of a specific study. Second, procedural remedies against social desirability, which are now the gold standard in other survey-based disciplines, should be used more consistently. Finally, more research is needed adopting social desirability scales, which are relatively common in other fields of research using surveys (e.g. dietary studies), as well as specialized questioning techniques for sensitive answers.
... Another variable would be represented by global social norms, the widely-shared normative judgements in society (Bicchieri, 2006). Past research shows that subjective (or local) social norms mediate the effect of global social norms on behaviour (Vesely and Klockner, 2017). Global (local) social norms are shaped by the individual's social macro-environment, and may thus be more (or less) easily subject to consumer re-appropriation and modulation by means of neutralization. ...
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Community-based platforms (CBPs) such as Uber and Airbnb are increasingly prevalent in modern society. Inherent disintermediation and informality render these web-based systems especially attractive in the eyes of consumers, while exacerbating old problems and spawning new challenges. This study posits CBPs as ethically and morally questionable, and thus as controversial consumption schemes. Drawing on the neutralization theory research stream, this study seeks to identify how supporters and users justify the existence of controversial consumption systems such as CBPs. Our results show that, to justify CBPs, supporters and users both tend to depend heavily on neutralization techniques such as appealing to higher loyalties, condemnation of condemners, denial of victims, denial of responsibility and invocation of normalcy. Interestingly, these techniques are used in conjunction with non-neutralization techniques to defend controversial collaborative services such as Uber.
... Social norms are socially determined, implicit or explicit beliefs that people hold about the prevalence or acceptability of behaviors [10,11]. As social norms are greatly influenced by public displays, not private thoughts [12,13], the prevalence of physical litter in the environment may lead people to wrongly believe that littering is normatively accepted. The social norms approach attempts to change undesirable behaviors by correcting such inaccurate beliefs [14], and it has been successfully employed in several domains, e.g., alcohol consumption [15], illegal drug use [16], sunscreen use [17], and energy consumption [18]. ...
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The Behavior Change Wheel is the most comprehensive and practically useful methodology available for developing behavior change interventions. The current article demonstrates how it can be applied to optimize pro-environmental behaviors and, in so doing, give interventionists access to a rigorous set of theories and techniques for systematically developing pro-environmental interventions. Section 1 describes the development of an intervention to increase people’s intentions to post anti-littering messages on social media. Study 2 describes the development and evaluation of an intervention to increase people’s actual anti-littering posts. Both evaluations are randomized controlled trials that compare the effectiveness of the developed intervention with interventions less informed by the Wheel. We found interventions completely informed by the Wheel to be more effective than interventions less (or not at all) informed by the Wheel. The discussion explores how the Behavior Change Wheel methodology can be used to design future pro-environment interventions.
... From a policy perspective, as a whole, there is a growing a number of studies evaluating the impacts of social norms on pro-environmental behaviour (e.g. Farrow et al., 2017;Huber et al., 2018;Terrier and Marfaing, 2015;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017) and there is increasing consensus that social norm interventions (e.g. via comparative feedback) can be a (cost-) effective way to promote sustainable energy use (see e.g. Abrahamse et al., 2005;Andor and Fels, 2018;Dolan et al., 2012;Nolan et al., 2008). ...
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Policymakers and scientists are paying increasing attention to how social norms can promote pro-environmental behaviour and sustainable energy use. We contribute to this field by experimenting with and assessing the impacts of social norms on low-carbon mobility options. Taking Sweden as a case study, we develop two complementary randomised controlled experiments to: 1) analyse the role of social norms in promoting the adoption of car sharing services (CSS) via descriptive and injunctive norms (N = 720); and 2) investigate potential crowd out effects when injunctive norms are used to promote a low-carbon transport hierarchy (N = 730). First-order effects show that social norms have a positive but marginal impact on the willingness to adopt CSS, and only injunctive norms have the potential to steer behaviour in the desired direction. Results also suggest that concerns about potential substitution effects between low-carbon transport options and CSS are not valid. With due limitations, our findings have various implications for policymaking, notably that for social norms to be effective, other policy instruments are critically needed. Of particular importance are the environmental effectiveness of CSS and complementarities between public transport and active mobility (i.e. walking and cycling).
... 16 For a meta- analytic review evaluating the relationship between objective and self-reported measures see Kormos & Gifford (2014), who show that only a little over 20% of variance in objectively measured pro-environmental behaviours can be predicted by what people say about their performance of these behaviours. Note, however, that Kormos & Gifford (2014) & Klöckner (2017a) who employ an incentivized elicitation procedure to motivate participants to provide accurate responses concerning different aspects of environmental behaviours. ...
Technical Report
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This report forms the basis for further research in ECHOES and gives at the same time an overview about the state-of-the-art. Based on a literature review with an initial screening of several thousand sources (and 597 sources reviewed), research from all three ECHOES research perspectives and technology foci were mapped and research gaps identified which will be addressed in ECHOES. The overall conclusion is that there already is a considerable amount of research that deals with specific technologies, problem areas, or research perspectives, but there are shortcomings related to more comprehensive and integrated analyses. The existing literature identifies factors playing a role in decision-making on the household level with respect to all of the listed issues in relation to all three foci, i.e. micro-, meso- and macro-level. However, it does so in a fragmented and disciplinary siloed way.
... A tourist destination is a place where tourists' environmental behavior takes place. Environmental behavior refers to the individual behavior that can have an impact on the environment (Morren and Grinstein, 2016;Vesely and Klöckner, 2017). Combined with the specific content of this study, this paper argues that tourists' environmental behavior refers to the behavior that tourists exhibit in the tourist destination, which can have a positive or negative impact on the environment of the tourist destination. ...
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Human behavior is affected not only by individuals' own psychological factors but also by the surrounding environment and the behaviors of others. Existing studies on tourists' responsible environmental behaviors tend to focus only on tourists' own psychological and environmental factors while ignoring the referential role of other people's behavior. The behavioral reference of others in tourist destinations is an important situational factor that affects tourists' responsible environmental behaviors and has important research value. Based on the theory of planned behavior and taking the Zhongshan Mausoleum Scenic Area as an example, this paper explores the influence of other people's behavioral reference on tourists' responsible environmental behaviors by using the multi-group analysis method of structural equation modelling. The results show the following: (1) Tourists' attitudes toward environmental behavior and subjective norms have a significant positive impact on their responsible environmental behavioral intention, perceived behavioral control has a significant positive impact on their responsible environmental behavioral intention and their responsible environmental behaviors, and responsible environmental behavioral intention has a significant positive impact on responsible environmental behaviors. (2) Tourist destination behavioral reference plays a positive regulatory role in the relationship between tourists' responsible environmental behavioral intention and responsible environmental behaviors. Accordingly, this paper proposes relevant countermeasures and suggestions for the high-quality management and development of tourist destinations.
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Pro-environmental behavioral patterns are influenced by relevant others’actions and expectations. Studies about the intergenerational transmission of environmentalism have demonstrated that parents play a major role in their children’s pro-environmental actions. However, little is known about how other social agents may shape youth’s environmentalism. This cross-sectional study concentrates on the role that parents and peers have in the regulation of 12- to 19-year-olds’ pro-environmental behaviors. We also consider the common response bias effect by examining the associations between parents, peers, and adolescents’ pro-environmentalism in two independent data sets. Data Set 1 (N = 330) includes adolescents’ perceptions of relevant others’ behaviors. Data Set 2 (N = 152) includes relevant others’ selfreported pro-environmental behavior. Our results show that parents’ and peers’ descriptive and injunctive norms have a direct effect on adolescents’ pro-environmental behavior and an indirect one, through personal norms. Adolescents seem to be accurate in the perception of their close ones’ environmental actions.
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It is known that people can distinguish authentic from inauthentic emotional displays. It is also known that emotions are generally impactful in crowdfunding pitches. Yet, the potential lynchpin-like role that displays of authentic emotion may play in funding pitches has been overlooked in entrepreneurial resource acquisition research. More importantly, research on authenticity has not uncovered the mechanisms through which display authenticity positively affects observers’ responses. Our work fills this gap by developing a theoretical model that explains the underlying processes of entrepreneurs’ display authenticity and success in crowdfunding. Consistent with the predictions of the emotions as social information model, results from a field study and an experiment reveal the mediating roles of inferential and affective processes. Furthermore, our findings provide evidence for the moderating role of funders’ epistemic motivation on performance. We find that, depending on path, these effects take different directions.
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Defector contributes nothing but gains benefit in public goods game. This phenomenon creates an incentive for free riding and causes inefficient equilibrium in which everyone is defector. However, coexistence of cooperation and defection is pervasive for a large well-mixed population in nature society. Inspired by the fact that humans have strong but also emotional tendencies for fair play, we employ a fairness mechanism with peer punishment to solve the public goods problem of a well-mixed cluster and aim to analyze cluster evolutionary process. The process is divided into three stages. In the first stage called cluster formation, this problem can be effectively solved by same-strategy groups. The second stage is cluster extension, we utilize multiplayer game and prove that increasing fairness factor and decreasing punishment cost are two effective ways to improve cooperation. Finally, we obtain the coexistence of cooperation and defection in the third stage called boom and bust.
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The current study aimed to establish and validate the Multi-motives toward Environmental Protection Scale (MEPS) to assess the various reasons that motivate individuals to engage in environmental behaviors. The scale development process included four steps: extensive literature review on environmental incentives, generation of an item pool, evaluation of the initial item pool by a panel of experts, and administration of the final item pool to a population sample to test the psychometric properties of the scale. We collected five distinct samples to: (1) explore the factorial structure of the MEPS using Exploratory Factor Analysis (Study 1); (2) confirm the proposed structure using Confirmatory Factor Analysis and assess reliability and validity (Studies 2 and 3); (3) examine test-retest reliability (Study 4); and (4) evaluate the MEPS in a representative sample (Study 5). The overall findings supported a seven-factor structure for the 28-item MEPS, revealed good scale reliability and provided evidence of construct validity in terms of discriminant and convergent validity. The scale exhibited criterionrelated validity as suggested by the correlations observed between each MEPS subscale and other outcome variables. Results showed that configural, measurement and latent mean invariance were established across gender groups. The MEPS comprises a comprehensive instrument that makes a significant contribution to the motivation literature within the environmental conservation context. The proposed measure gives rise to future research in the environmental psychology field and may inform behavior change strategies by policymakers that wish to promote environmental behavior.
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Pro-environmental behavior has social signaling value. Previous research suggests that enacting pro-environmental behaviors can signal certain personal characteristics, such as social status and trustworthiness, to others. Using an incentivized experiment, we show that people known to behave pro-environmentally are expected to be more cooperative, are preferred as cooperation partners, and elicit more cooperation from others. The presence of pro-environmental individuals may thus motivate others to exert more effort towards reaching cooperative goals, even in situations where individual and group goals are at odds (i.e., social dilemmas). However, people who behaved pro-environmentally were actually no more cooperative than those performing fewer pro-environmental behaviors.
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Environments that encourage dishonest behaviour can compromise intrinsic honesty by altering beliefs about what is considered socially appropriate behaviour. I extend the incentivised Krupka and Weber (2013) elicitation method to the domain of lying and present two complementary studies that show how different social environments not only instigate different levels of dishonest behaviour but also change what a representative sample of Norwegian citizens perceives as socially appropriate when it comes to lying.
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The main objective of the study was to examine the factors that influence attitude towards usage of social media for holiday destination selection by the young generation, specifically university students and to explore the antecedents of behavioural intention to use social media sites. A structured questionnaire was used to gather data for this study, yielding a total of 350 responses suitable for analysis. Regression analysis was employed to test the hypotheses. The results revealed that social presence, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and perceived enjoyment all positively influence attitude towards use of social media sites. Revealed by the results also is that perceived behavioural control, subjective norm and attitude also positively influence behavioural intention. Social media developers should develop sites, which are attractive, fun and exciting so that the young generation can be attracted. Moreover, destination marketers must ensure that all the important information is posted on their social media sites pages. Studies have been conducted on the usage of social media sites for searching travel related products, but limited research has been done focusing specifically on the usage of these sites by the young generation, such as university students in the South African context.
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The main contribution of this paper lies in applying Adam Smith's moral theory to explain how some actions become jointly recognized as socially appropriate while others do not, and how these jointly recognized rules affect actual behavior. To illustrate the strength of Smith's theory, we apply it to the norm-elicitation method by Krupka and Weber (2013) among a representative sample to explain how different elicited social norms vary across “giving” and “taking” contexts in the dictator game.
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With the increasing number of travelling people, the behavior of tourists is having an increasing impact on the environment. Situational environmental education will influence the tourists’ responsible environmental behavior, which positively or negatively affects the environment. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of situational environmental education on tourists’ responsible environmental behavior through a field study of Changchun Water Culture Ecological Park, combined with a survey and Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) interview method. There are 527 questionnaires, 89 pre-questionnaires, and 15 interview records collected. The results showed that: (1) All interviewees were impressed with the situational environmental education in the park. It can be concluded that the situational environmental education is easily accepted. The reason may be that, among the theme park users, 42.69% were aged 21–30 year’s old, and 62.8% of the population have a college degree or above. (2) The standardized path coefficient of situational environmental education in tourist destinations for tourists’ behavioral intention is 0.74, and the standardized path coefficient for responsible environmental behavior is 0.78, which is much higher than the standard value of 0.4. Therefore, situational environmental education has positive influences on the tourists’ behavioral intention and responsible environmental behavior. (3) The sensitive analysis the tourists’ behavioral intention has a positive relationship with attitudes toward environmental behaviors (0.66), subjective norm (0.53), and perceptual behavior control (0.52). The results of this study can provide a scientific basis for the planning and design of urban parks.
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A descriptive norm is a behavioral rule that individuals follow when their empirical expectations of others following the same rule are met. We aim to provide an account of the emergence of descriptive norms by first looking at a simple case, that of the standing ovation. We examine the structure of a standing ovation, and show it can be generalized to describe the emergence of a wide range of descriptive norms.
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We investigate norms of corruption using the norm-elicitation procedure introduced by Krupka and Weber (2013). We use a within-subject design whereby the norms are elicited from the same subjects who are observed making choices in a bribery game. We test whether the order in which the norm-elicitation task and the bribery game are conducted affects elicited norms and behavior. We find little evidence of order effects in our experiment. We discuss how these results compare with those reported in the existing literature.
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For us, altruism refers to self-sacrificial acts intended to benefit others regardless of material or social outcomes for the actor. Crucial to this definition is an emphasis on the actor’s motivation: An act is altruistic only to the extent that it is motivated by concern for the welfare of others. In other words, altruistic behavior is motivated by the desire to affirm one’s own moral values (Schwartz & Howard, 1981). The more general notion of prosocial behavior points to the outcomes of action rather than to the intentions that underlie action (Wispe, 1972). Prosocial behavior usually entails a mixture of altruistic and other types of motivation. An adult may stop children who are fighting, for instance, both because of her own value-based concern for their welfare and because this act may elicit social approval and enhance her sense of competence.
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Pro-environmental behavior is strongly influenced by social norms. In this field experiment, we tested both injunctive and descriptive norms' influence on the decision to attach an anti-ads sticker to one's mailbox. In a natural setting with N = 383 households, we manipulated the salience of a descriptive norm and the salience of several injunctive norms, the latter with both a general and a local reference frame, and collected data about the descriptive norm strength. In line with our expectations, the combination of salient pro-environmental descriptive and injunctive norms caused the highest sticker attachment rates. An injunctive norm with a general reference frame turned out to be most effective. Moreover, our findings suggest that norm conflict produces similar results as low norm salience. We discuss theoretical developments, the role of reference frames as a function of neighborhood, and give advice to practitioners. Supplements & data: https://osf.io/etxsu/
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This article examines the role of social norms messages in promoting water conservation. A field experiment is reported in which residents were provided with personalized feedback about their water consumption, coupled with normative information about similar households in their neighborhood. Normative information was provided either through a web-based interface or through postal mail, and survey data were collected from residents prior to treatment. Results showed that residents who received normative information consumed less water than a randomized control group. Additional analyses showed that web-based distribution was less effective than postal mail. Finally, moderated regression analyses showed that residents with strong personal norms about reduced water consumption were less affected by the normative messages than were residents with low personal norms. Implications are discussed for both theory and practice.
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Krupka and Weber (2013) introduce an incentive-compatible coordination game as an alternative method for elicitation of normative judgments. I show, however, that people provide virtually the same responses in incentivized and non-incentivized versions of the Krupka-Weber game. Besides ratings of social appropriateness, I also elicit ratings of fairness of all possible offers in an ultimatum game. Ratings of social appropriateness and fairness are similar for low offers (below or equal to the equal split), but not for high offers which are judged to be more appropriate than fair.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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A month-long field experiment evaluated the impact of descriptive social norm information on self-reported reduction of private vehicle use. Following a baseline week, participants were asked to reduce their vehicle use by 25% and were randomly assigned to a control condition or to a low or high social norm condition in which they received information that either under- or over-reported others’ successful efforts to switch to sustainable transportation. Results indicated a significant linear trend, such that messages highlighting more prevalent descriptive social norms increased sustainable transportation behavior (relative to private vehicle use) for commuting, but not non-commuting, purposes. Participants in the high social norm condition decreased their commuting-related private vehicle use by approximately five times, compared with baseline. Car-use message campaigns can reduce private vehicle use by highlighting descriptive norms about others’ sustainable transportation efforts, but these messages appear to be most effective for commuting behavior.
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Recent research provides evidence that group norms influence intentions to engage in pro-climate behaviour and that identification with the group moderates the norm effects. However, past studies have neglected to examine if the effects on norm adherence vary among different identification aspects. The present studies close this gap by investigating group-level self-investment (i.e. the importance of and satisfaction with the group) and self-definition (i.e. perceived similarities among group members) as possible moderators of group norm effects. We used two experimental studies to test our assumption that self-investment but not self-definition would moderate the norm-intention relation. The results support our assumption and show that group members who were highly self-invested in the group (but did not necessarily perceive themselves as similar to other group members) adhered more strongly to climate-related ingroup norms than less self-invested group members. However, perceived similarity among group members (i.e. self-definition) did not positively contribute to respondents' decision to conform to a group norm. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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A simple model was tested in which attitudinal factors and external conditions act in combination to influence behavior. The model predicts that behavior is a monotonic function of attitudes and external conditions and that the strength of the attitude-behavior relationship is a curvilinear function of the strength of the external conditions, with extreme values setting boundary conditions on the applicability of attitude models. The model also allows for interactions in which perceived costs enter into the attitudinal process. Evidence is taken from a natural experiment in recycling in which collection bins for curbside pickup had been provided to 26% of 257 survey respondents. Consistent with the model, main effects of attitudes and external conditions were found, as was an interaction effect in which the Schwartz norm-activation model predicted recycling behavior only for households without bins. Interactive models such as the one developed here can yield better policy-relevant analyses by clarifying the relationships between external and internal influences on behavior change.
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The low-cost hypothesis predicts that the strength of effects of environmental concern on environmental behavior diminishes with increasing behavioral costs. Thus, environmental concern influences environmental behavior primarily in situations and under conditions connected with low costs and little inconvenience for individual actors. In a first step, we develop and specify this hypothesis. Referring to two procedures, we then test it on the basis of an environmental survey of a random sample of 2307 respondents from the German population. The empirical evidence is positive. The low-cost hypothesis is not confined to the area of environmental research. It points to general limits of attitude-research (in high-cost situations) and to general limits of rational-choice theory (in low-cost situations), and suggests a strategy for integrating research in social psychology, sociology, and economics.
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Shifting the focus from fear, guilt, and indignation related to deteriorating environmental quality, the authors hypothesized that people who see greater potential for restorative experiences in natural environments also do more to protect them by behaving ecologically, as with recycling or reduced driving. University students (N = 488) rated a familiar freshwater marsh in terms of being away, fascination, coherence, and compatibility, qualities of restorative person-environment transactions described in attention restoration theory. They also reported on their performance of various ecological behaviors. The authors tested a structural equation model with data from a randomly drawn subset of participants and then confirmed it with the data from a second subset. For the combined subsets, perceptions of the restorative qualities predicted 23% of the variance in general ecological behavior. As the only direct predictor, fascination mediated the influences of coherence, being away, and compatibility.
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Given their definition of subjective norms, rational-choice theories must be located within the realm of social conventionality. However, subjective norms can be grounded in moral as well as conventional considerations. Not surprisingly, then, rational-choice theories insufficiently explain behaviors that are at least partially moral, such as ecological behavior. The present paper establishes an expanded rational-choice model of environmental attitude that extends into the moral domain by using feelings of personal obligation toward the environment (i. e., feelings of responsibility) as an additional predictor of intentions to behave ecologically. Findings from two studies are presented. In Study 1 a sample of Swiss adults (N = 436) was used to test the proposed model. Study 2 replicates the findings of Study 1 with a sample of California college students (N = 488). Assessments were carried out in a structural equation modeling framework. Environmental knowledge, environmental values, and responsibility feelings together explained 45% (50% in Study 2) of the variance of ecological behavior intention which, in turn, predicted 76% (94%) of the explainable variance of general ecological behavior. As the inclusion of responsibility feelings increased the proportion of explained variance of ecological behavior intention by 5% (10%) above and beyond a more basic attitude model, the moral extension of the proposed attitude model is largely supported.
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Studied what factors would be most effective in motivating different socioeconomic groups to change their discard behaviors and participate in recycling programs by analyzing newspaper and aluminum-can disposal and by interviewing 73 households of differing socioeconomic levels on their recycling behavior. Data indicate that what Ss said about recycling and how they disposed of recyclable materials were inconsistent. Ss from higher-income households reported more recycling behaviors, but analyses of household refuse showed similar patterns of disposal of recyclable materials by households of differing socioeconomic characteristics. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A measure of preference for consistency (the PFC Scale) was developed. In three construct validation experiments, scores on the PFC successfully predicted individuals who would and would not be susceptible to a set of standard consistency-based effects: cognitive balance, foot in the door, and dissonance. The pattern of results in each of the experiments suggested the type of consistency that the PFC measures: a tendency to base one's responses to incoming stimuli on the implications of existing (prior entry) variables, such as previous expectancies, commitments, and choices. A surprisingly large percentage (at least half) of our participants showed no strong inherent preference for consistency—a finding that may explain the frequent failure to detect or replicate (a) traditional consistency effects and (b) a wide variety of other experimental phenomena. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Examined whether high consumers of electricity placed in a cognitively dissonant situation would conserve electricity over a 4-wk period. 272 households in Perth, Western Australia, owning ducted air conditioning and consuming above-average amounts of electricity were included in the study. Four experimental groups were compared. The 4 groups were as follows: (a) the dissonance plus tips plus feedback group, who were informed of an inconsistency between their previously measured attitudes toward conservation and actual high consumption of electricity; (b) the feedback plus tips group, who were notified that they were high consumers of electricity; (c) the tips-only group, who were sent information on ways to conserve electricity (also sent to Groups 1 and 2); and (d) the control group, who were sent a thank-you letter for participating in the study. It was found, in keeping with bolstering behavior predictions of cognitive dissonance theory, that the dissonance group conserved more electricity than all other groups in the 1st 2-wk measurement period. For the 2nd 2-wk measurement period, the dissonance group differed only from the control group. Self-reported behavior change and number of requests for additional conservation materials were not reliable indicators of actual conservation behavior. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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