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Predicting Pro-environmental Intention and Behavior Based on Justice Sensitivity, Moral Disengagement, and Moral Emotions – Results of Two Quota-Sampling Surveys

  • The effects of climate change lead to increasing social injustice and hence justice is intrinsically linked to a socio-ecological transformation. In this study, we investigate whether justice sensitivity motivates pro-environmental intention (PEI) and behavior (PEB) and, if so, to what extent emotions and moral disengagement determine this process. For this purpose, we conducted two quota-sampling surveys (Study 1: N = 174, Study 2: N = 880). Multiple regression analyses in both studies suggest that a higher perception of injustice from a perpetrator’s, beneficiary’s, and observer’s perspective is associated with an increased PEI. However, moral disengagement best predicted PEB and PEI. Guilt and authentic pride were found to be emotional predictors of PEI. Additionally, mediation analyses demonstrated that guilt mediates the connection between both perpetrator and beneficiary sensitivity and PEI. These results suggest that when the predominant originators of climate change (i.e., individuals from industrialized countries) perceive global climate injustice from the perspective of a beneficiary or a perpetrator, they experience guilt and have a higher PEI. Based on this mechanism, it seems promising to render global injustice more salient to those responsible for activities that lead to climate change to motivate them to adapt their behavior. The role of moral disengagement and victim sensitivity as barriers to pro-environmental behavior is discussed in this context.

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Author: Susanne Nicolai, Philipp Franikowski, Susanne Stoll-Kleemann
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2022/06/24
Release Date:2022/11/24
Tag:behavior change; climate justice; justice sensitivity; moral disengagement; moral emotions; pro-environmental behavior; pro-environmental intention
GND Keyword:-
Article Number:914366
Page Number:19
Faculties:Universitätsmedizin / Institut für Medizinische Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung