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Going Green (and Not Being Just More Pro-Social): Do Attitude and Personality Specifically Influence Pro-Environmental Behavior?

Jana S. Kesenheimer () and Tobias Greitemeyer ()
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Jana S. Kesenheimer: Institute for Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Tobias Greitemeyer: Institute for Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 6, 1-12

Abstract: The current research examines the extent to which attitudes and personality traits are predictive of pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Concretely, we tested the relationship between pro-environmental attitudes, HEXACO personality traits, and actual PEB (donating potential prize money to a pro-environmental organization; N = 257). Additionally, we controlled for the influence of helping behavior (donating to a pro-social organization) by addressing whether attitudes and personality have a distinct impact on PEB or whether people are more likely to engage in PEB because they act more pro-socially in general. Analyses included correlations, multiple linear regressions, mediations, and partial correlations. Pro-environmental attitude had the most robust association with PEB and mediated the influence of openness to experiences and honesty–humility on PEB. Importantly, the relationship of pro-environmental attitudes and personality (openness to experiences and honesty–humility) with PEB was unaffected by the participant’s helping behavior, suggesting that pro-environmental people mainly care about the environment and are not necessarily more pro-social in general.

Keywords: pro-environmental behavior; pro-social behavior; pro-environmental attitude; HEXACO personality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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