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“I know it is better for the environment but what about me?” : Explaining the cognitive dissonance between attitude and environmental friendly behavior

Maar, B.J.P. van (2019) “I know it is better for the environment but what about me?” : Explaining the cognitive dissonance between attitude and environmental friendly behavior.

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Abstract:Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explain the gap between attitude and environmental friendly behavior. this research explores the possible motives that people use to justify the behavior that is inconsistent with their attitudes. This information could be valuable for policy makers and organizations that attempt to influence environmental friendly behavior. Method: To determine the variables that affect environmental friendly behavior, a literature review is conducted. Based on this literature study a new model is constructed based on the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Cognitive Dissonance Theory. This model included presumed dissonance reduction strategies related to environmental friendliness. Based on the research results it can be concluded which constructs are distinguished dissonance reduction strategies. To determine which variables affected environmental friendly behavior a survey among 275 Dutch participants was conducted. Results: The results of the survey provided insights into the relationship between attitude, social influence and perceived behavioral control; these were significant predictors of intention. Between the relationship of dissonance and dissonance reduction strategies, the significant dissonance reduction strategies were anti-political correctness, avoidance of responsibility and procrastination; these constructs were also important determinants of intention. Moreover, by including these constructs in the Theory of Planned Behavior the predictive value of the model increased significantly. Conclusions: The outcome of this research provides new perspectives on predicting environmental friendly behavior. In addition to the variables of Theory of Planned Behavior, the determinants: anti-political correctness, responsibility and procrastination have a considerably negative effect on environmental friendly intentions. Therefore, in both theory and practice, these variables need to be considered when predicting or influencing environmental friendly behavior. Keywords: Theory of Planned Behavior, Environmental friendliness, Cognitive Dissonance, Dissonance Reduction Strategies
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies, 43 environmental science
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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