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Environmental activist identity mediates the relationship between perceived threats to the environment and more sustainable consumer behaviors

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  • Ecology
  • Geography


Our society’s trend of excessive consumption results in negative health effects both for us and the environment. To combat these negative trends, people must actively reduce their consumption to promote a more sustainable lifestyle and thereby a healthier Earth. In this paper I consider what factors encourage people to engage in behaviors that mitigate threats to the environment. In particular, I consider the consequences of two ways of defining the self—identification with the environment, and identification with environmental activists. In both Study 1 and Study 2, identification with environmental activists mediated the relationship between perceived threats to the environment and consumer behaviors and mediated the relationship between environmental identification and consumer behaviors. These results suggest that promoting a collective identification with a group whose goal is to protect the environment is an important way to motivate people to partake in environmentally-friendly consumption behaviors.

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