We know how to mitigate environmental problems like climate change, but don't know why many individuals reject those behaviours and policies. Pro-environmental behaviour is based not just on thoughts about the environment or on difficulty but also how individuals think about others. Examining the person in social situations may help predict or influence these behaviours.
On June 26, 2018 at 8 AM EST/1 PM BST/7 PM ICT , Dr. Cameron Brick presented a research line showing how personality and social identity relate to pro-environmental behaviour and policy preferences (total N = 3504). Study 1 shows that pro-environmental behaviours may be caused by environmental concern, which may in turn be caused by the personality trait Openness. Studies 2-5 find that social identification with environmentalists uniquely predicts behaviour and policy preferences. In Studies 6-8, environmentalist identity interacts with the public visibility of behaviour to predict frequency of behaviour in a multi-level model controlling for perceived difficulty and effectiveness. Studying social reactions to environmental problems provides the opportunity for public impact and for basic science on cognition, social influence, and action.
1. Brick, C., & Lewis, G. J. (2016). Unearthing the “green” personality: Core traits predict environmentally friendly behavior. Environment and Behavior. PDF
2. Brick, C., & Lai, C. K. (under review). Are you an environmentalist? Explicit environmentalist identity is a better predictor of pro-environmental behavior and policy preferences than implicit environmentalist identity.
3. Brick, C., Sherman, D. K., & Kim, H. S. (2017). "Green to be seen" and "brown to keep down": Visibility moderates the effect of identity on pro-environmental behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology. PDF; Supplement
About the presenters:
Dr. Cameron Brick completed a PhD in Social Psychology at University of California Santa Barbara, and taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Hamilton College, NY. His research focuses on the psychology of responses to society-level problems such as climate change. He uses motivations and social identities to build quantitative laboratory, survey, and field studies on communication and behavior in social contexts, and design effective messaging to boost comprehension and quality decision making. Find out more about his research at https://www.cameronbrick.com/