Environment and Conservation

“Green” Personality Traits Predict Environmentally Friendly Behavior

Research on predictors of environmentally friendly behavior has tended to focus on attitudes, values, and norms. This study investigated the role of basic personality traits in predicting a component of environmentalism: actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., using public transportation, composting, reducing meat consumption). Brick and Lewis (2016) predicted that environmental attitudes would mediate [...]

Using Social Norms to Enhance Pro-environmental Behavior

This study built on previous research (e.g., Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008) demonstrating that social norms could be used to increase pro-environmental behaviors. One of three types of messages were posted in hotel rooms in Central European alpine resorts: (1) towel reuse protects the environment (no social norm information), (2) most guests in this hotel [...]

Psychological Barriers to Climate Change Action

Robert Gifford (2011) proposed that while some of the barriers to taking action about climate change are structural (e.g., buying solar panels is not affordable or riding a bike to work is impractical), many are psychological. He identified seven categories of “dragons of inaction”: (1) Limited cognition – the human brain has difficulty grasping threats [...]

Determinants of Low-Cost and High-Cost Recycling

Recycling has become an important strategy in addressing both environmental and economic concerns. Previous research has examined factors influencing recycling behavior, such as beliefs about environmental consequences of recycling, procedural knowledge about when, where, and how to recycle, and both personal and social norms favoring pro-environmental behavior. Yet, these studies have not differentiated between determinants [...]

“Global Warming” vs. “Climate Change”

Does the public react to the terms “global warming” and “climate change” differently? Political strategists have suggested that “climate change” is perceived as less threatening than “global warming.” In a survey of Americans and Europeans from 25 European Union countries, Villar and Krosnick (2011) asked participants to rate the seriousness of either “global warming” or [...]

Daily Temperature Change Influences Belief in Global Warming

Li, Johnson, and Zaval (2011) examined the process of attribute substitution — a tendency to replace a more complex, less easily accessed judgment with a simple, more accessible one. In assessing this tendency, the researchers studied the relationship between the current day’s temperature (a simple judgment) and the participant’s beliefs about global warming (a complex [...]