Influence of visually ranked information on the adoption of pro-environmental behavior
Vollmoeller, C., Köhler, B., Rox, K.
In the following study we investigated the role of an activated environmental identity and the information presentation format on self-reported environmental behavior. In a 2x2 design we first manipulated the environmental identity using the ease of retrieval effect. We then presented information about five pro-environmental behaviors ranked by their impact either with a graph showing the carbon-dioxide emissions and possible savings or with a text displaying the kilograms carbon-dioxide being emitted. Participants were randomized to one of the four resulting groups and asked to choose one of the five presented pro-environmental behaviors on which they had to form an implementation intention over the four weeks. Finally, we measured the general pro-environmental behavior score from all participants before and after implementing behavior changes, in order to determine any spill-over. We hypothesized that the information treatment enhances the effect of identity on the chosen behavior. That is because we assume that information is more accessible for people with an activated identity. Furthermore, we expected that a strengthened pro-environmental identity leads to more positive spillover. The data analysis showed an unexpected main effect of ranking on the adoption of the chosen behavior as well as an interaction of ranking and identity, thus confirming our first hypothesis. However, data didn’t show any behavioral spill-over.
Environmental Behavior, Implementation Intention, Ranking