Q&A Promoting Pro-Environmental Behaviour by Strengthening Environmental Identities: A Pilot Intervention Study by Andrea Mah
From Ivy Ng
by Andrea Mah
Supervisor: Dr. Kyle Matsuba
Reducing the negative effects of the climate crisis will require people to change their behavior. Knowledge alone is not sufficient to change behavior. Engaging people in pro-environmental activities and emphasizing their environmental self-efficacy and identity may be important to create sustained changes in behavior. To explore these issues, a month-long ‘Sustainability Challenge’ intervention program was created and implemented at a western Canadian university. Twenty-eight participants, recruited from the university, were randomly assigned to one of three conditions before beginning the intervention program: 1. Participants received feedback which positively enforced eco-friendly behaviour and their identity as an eco-friendly person; 2. Participants received feedback which positively reinforced the eco-friendly behaviour; or 3. Participants received no feedback on their behaviour. Participants were assessed before and after the program on their pro-environmental behaviour, attitudes, norms, efficacy, and environmental self-identity. Results showed that the program had no effect on behaviour, attitudes, norms, efficacy, or environmental self-identity, but participants did show an increase in pro-environmental norm and self-efficacy beliefs. These results are discussed in context, with a discussion of the limitations and recommendations for others who plan to design or deliver a similar intervention.