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Facilitating Pro-environmental Behavior: The Role of Pessimism and Anthropocentric Environmental Values

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Abstract

The two primary aims of the present study were: (1) to test the constructive pessimism hypothesis in relation to pro-environmental behavior, and (2) to clarify the relationship between pro-environmental behavior and anthropocentric values. Specifically, we focused on the idea that pessimistic anticipation of the future might facilitate actions aimed at avoiding an undesirable future, and that it may also be effective for reducing the pessimistic outlook about the future (i.e., ‘constructive pessimism’). Results of structural equation modeling using questionnaire survey data obtained in Tsukuba City, Japan (n = 300) confirmed that pessimistic anticipation of future subjective well-being facilitated pro-environmental behavior in the present. We also confirmed that both ecocentric and anthropocentric values facilitated pro-environmental behavior. Results suggest that psychological factors surrounding pro-environmental behavior, including constructive pessimism, should be taken into consideration in developing better policy interventions to facilitate such behavior.

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Correspondence to Naoko Kaida.

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Kaida, N., Kaida, K. Facilitating Pro-environmental Behavior: The Role of Pessimism and Anthropocentric Environmental Values. Soc Indic Res 126, 1243–1260 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-0943-4

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Keywords

  • Pro-environmental behavior
  • Constructive pessimism
  • Environmental values
  • Anthropocentrism
  • Ecocentrism
  • Neighborhood environment
  • Subjective well-being
  • Happiness