Cueing Common Ecological Behaviors to Increase Environmental Attitudes

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Abstract

A major obstacle for promoting sustainable (e.g. ecological) consumer behaviors is people’s negative attitude towards these.  We tested the potential of a persuasion technique for improving these attitudes. We propose that cueing ecological behaviors people usually engage in, increases the accessibility of previously performed ecological behavior in the memory.  As several theories suggest attitudes are inferred from previous behavior, we expected the increased ease of retrieval of ecological actions to result in more favorable attitudes towards these.  Two studies confirmed this hypothesis, and further research will verify the success of the technique in promoting actual environmental behavior.  Implications for setting up effective social marketing campaigns are discussed.