Theoretically, performing pro-environmental behaviors can lead to positive spillover (increased future pro-environmental behaviors or strengthened environmental attitudes) by increasing someone’s acceptance of an environmental self-identity, or negative spillover by alleviating guilt motivations which fuel some environmental actions. Labeling someone an “environmentalist” in connection to performance of pro-environmental behaviors could strengthen the positive spillover route through emphasizing environmental self-identity rather than guilt reduction. In Study 1, participants perceiving that they performed many pro-environmental behaviors reported greater environmental self-identity strengthening their environmental attitudes, but simultaneously reported a reduction in guilt weakening their environmental attitudes. Since both positive spillover and negative spillover routes were active, there was not a significant total spillover effect from pro-environmental behavior to environmental attitudes. In Study 2, however, labeling those who perceived they performed many pro-environmental behaviors as “environmentalists” led to stronger environmental self-identity with no simultaneous reduction of guilt, increasing the total positive spillover.
Is Version Of:
"Don't Be Satisfied, Identify! Strengthening Positive Spillover by Connecting Pro-Environmental Behaviors to an “environmentalist” Label." Journal of Environmental Psychology. 48 (2016)
Lacasse, Katherine. "Don't Be Satisfied, Identify! Strengthening Positive Spillover by Connecting Pro-Environmental Behaviors to an “environmentalist” Label." Journal of Environmental Psychology. 48 (2016): 149-158. Print.