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Values, Identity and Pro-Environmental Behaviour

Gatersleben, B, Murtagh, N and Abrahamse, W (2012) Values, Identity and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences. ISSN 2158-2041

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Abstract

The importance of understanding and promoting pro-environmental behaviour among individual consumers in modern Western Societies is generally accepted. Attitudes and attitude change are often examined to help reach this goal. But although attitudes are relatively good predictors of behaviour and are relatively easy to change they only help explain specific behaviours. More stable individual factors such as values and identities may affect a wider range of behaviours. In particular factors which are important to the self are likely to influence behaviour across contexts and situations. This paper examines the role of values and identities in explaining individual pro-environmental behaviours. Secondary analyses were conducted on data from three studies on UK residents, with a total of 2694 participants. Values and identities were good predictors of pro-environmental behaviour in each study and identities explain pro-environmental behaviours over and above specific attitudes. The link between values and behaviours was fully mediated by identities in two studies and partially mediated in one study supporting the idea that identities may be broader concepts which incorporate values. The findings lend support for the concept of identity campaigning to promote sustainable behaviour. Moreover, it suggests fruitful future research directions which should explore the development and maintenance of identities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published as Gatersleben B, Murtagh N, Abrahamse W Values, Identity and Pro-Environmental Behaviour Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences. DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2012.682086 Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21582041.2012.682086
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Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 14:33
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2014 01:40
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/719548

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