Good Intents, but Low Impacts: Diverging Importance of Motivational and Socioeconomic Determinants Explaining Pro-Environmental Behavior, Energy Use, and Carbon Footprint

Moser, Stephanie; Kleinhückelkotten, Silke (2018). Good Intents, but Low Impacts: Diverging Importance of Motivational and Socioeconomic Determinants Explaining Pro-Environmental Behavior, Energy Use, and Carbon Footprint. Environment and behavior, 50(6), pp. 626-656. Sage 10.1177/0013916517710685

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Earlier research has yielded contradictory results as to the main drivers of environmentally significant behavior. Intent-oriented research has stressed the importance of motivational aspects, while impact-oriented research has drawn attention to people’s socio-economic status. In this study, we investigated the diverging role of a pro-environmental stance under these two research perspectives. Data from a German survey (N = 1,012) enabled assessment of per capita energy use, and individual carbon footprints (impact-related measures), proenvironmental behavior (an intent-related measure), and behavior indicators varying in environmental impact and intent. Regression analyses revealed people’s environmental selfidentity to be the main predictor of pro-environmental behavior; however, environmental self-identity played an ambiguous role in predicting actual environmental impacts. Instead, environmental impacts were best predicted by people’s income level. Our results show that individuals with high pro-environmental self-identity intend to behave in an ecologically responsible way, but they typically emphasize actions that have relatively small ecological benefits.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Stephanie

ISSN:

0013-9165

Publisher:

Sage

Projects:

[619] Representative survey of the per-capita consumption of natural resources in Germany
[804] Socio-Economic Transition

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2017 10:47

Last Modified:

09 May 2019 15:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0013916517710685

Additional Information:

Online First 2017

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.101420

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101420

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