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“Be Careful What You Say”: The role of psychological reactance on the impact of pro-environmental normative appeals

Christos Kavvouris, Polymeros Chrysochou and John Thøgersen

Journal of Business Research, 2020, vol. 113, issue C, 257-265

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the impact of psychological reactance produced by normative appeals on the intention to behave sustainably. Across four studies, we demonstrate that freedom threat is an antecedent of psychological reactance to a pro-environmental normative appeal. We further show that the impact of pro-environmental normative appeals on behavioral intentions is serially mediated through freedom threat and counterarguing. Descriptive (injunctive) normative appeals produce lower (higher) psychological reactance, which subsequently leads to higher (lower) behavioral intentions. Finally, we provide evidence that the above relationships depend on self-construal, with descriptive normative appeals provoking lower psychological reactance than injunctive normative appeals only when the interdependent self is activated. We discuss implications for theory and practice.

Keywords: Normative appeals; Psychological reactance; Self-construal; Pro-environmental behaviors (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:113:y:2020:i:c:p:257-265

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.10.018

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