What is it about?

Concern and awareness about climate change and its problems do not always lead to climate action. This study showed that psychological barriers negatively moderate the relationship between environmental attitudes and some pro-environmental behaviors. Namely, we found that a more substantial presence of psychological barriers in environmentally conscientious participants was linked to a lower frequency of behaviors related to recycling and reusing, energy and water conservation, and eating less meat. But we found no relationship between psychological barriers and transportation behaviors, like traveling less by car and airplane.

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Why is it important?

An attitude-action gap is often observed when analyzing engagement with pro-environmental behaviors. It is thus important to understand why individuals with positive attitudes towards mitigating climate change are not acting upon their beliefs and values to the necessary extent. Psychological barriers emerged as a potential explanation for why this happens. Thus, behavioral interventions should also address these types of barriers.

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This page is a summary of: Psychological barriers moderate the attitude-behavior gap for climate change, PLoS ONE, July 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287404.
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