Shades of Green: Linking Environmental Locus of Control and Pro-Environmental Behaviors
Purpose – The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of various attitudes and personality characteristics on environmentally-friendly behaviors, from a locus of control (LOC) perspective. Specifically, we developed and tested a model linking a related construct, environmental locus of control (ELOC), to a series of pro-environmental behaviors.
Design/methodology/approach – The context related to various personal and household behaviors vis-à-vis the environment, and the subject pool consisted of a diverse group of urban consumers. A survey was employed to measure various attitudinal and personality variables corresponding to internal/external locus of control, as well as a battery of pro-environmental behaviors. The research propositions were tested using a structural equation modeling approach.
Findings – We found four distinct dimensions of ELOC, two of which relate to an external LOC (“biospheric-altruism” and “corporate skepticism”) and the other two relate to an internal LOC (“economic motivation” and “individual recycling efforts”). We then linked these four dimensions to a variety of pro-environmental behaviors. Highly variable patterns were obtained, with different dimensions assuming a greater or lesser impact, or no role at all, depending on the specific behavior under analysis.
Research limitations/implications – Generalizability of the findings is limited due to the sample (urban consumers from one major city), and the method employed (validity of self-report measures and the non-experimental nature of the field study).
Practical implications – Our findings highlight the importance of considering the specificity of pro-environmental behaviors, when assessing the antecedent roles of pro-environmental attitudes/dispositions, which are in-and-of-themselves, complex and multidimensional.
Originality/value – In this era of environmental degradation, researchers, managers, and public policy makers alike need to consider that pro-environmental attitudes are composed of multiple dispositional facets, and that the role of these facets is highly context-specific.
Mark Cleveland, Maria Kalamas, and Michel Laroche. "Shades of Green: Linking Environmental Locus of Control and Pro-Environmental Behaviors" The Journal of Consumer Marketing 22.4 (2005): 198-212.