The role of compensatory beliefs in rationalizing environmentally detrimental behaviors

Hope, Aimie L. B., Jones, Christopher R., Webb, Thomas L., Watson, Matthew T. and Kaklamanou, Daphne (2018) The role of compensatory beliefs in rationalizing environmentally detrimental behaviors. Environment and Behavior, 50 (4). pp. 401-425. ISSN 0013-9165

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Compensatory green beliefs (CGBs) reflect the idea that a pro-environmental behavior (e.g., recycling) can off-set the negative effects of an environmentally detrimental behavior (e.g., driving). It is thought that CGBs might help explain why people act in ways that appear to contradict their pro-environmental intentions, and inconsistently engage in pro-environmental behaviors. The present study sought to investigate the nature and use of CGBs. A series of interviews suggested that participants endorsed CGBs to (a) reduce feelings of guilt with respect to (the assumed or actual) negative environmental impact of their actions and (b) defend their green credentials in social situations. Participants also justified detrimental behaviors on the basis of higher loyalties (e.g., family’s needs), or the perceived difficulty of performing more pro-environmental actions. In addition to shedding light on how, when, and why people might hold and use CGBs, the research also provides new insight into how CGBs should be assessed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic field,behavior change,content areas,energy,pro-environmental behavior,psychology,qualitative research,research methods,sustainability,environmental science(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2020 00:44
Last Modified: 14 May 2023 00:20
DOI: 10.1177/0013916517706730


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