Journal article

Congruent or conflicted? The impact of injunctive and descriptive norms on environmental intentions

Joanne R Smith, Winnifred R Louis, Deborah J Terry, Katharine H Greenaway, Miranda R Clarke, Xiaoliang Cheng

Journal of Environmental Psychology | ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2012

Abstract

Two experiments examine the interplay of injunctive and descriptive norms on intentions to engage in pro-environmental behavior. In Experiment 1, Australian participants were exposed to supportive or unsupportive group descriptive and injunctive norms about energy conservation. Results revealed that a conflict between the group-level injunctive and descriptive norm was associated with weaker behavioral intentions: The beneficial effects of a supportive injunctive norm were undermined when presented with an unsupportive descriptive norm. Experiment 2 replicated this effect in both a Western (UK) and non-Western (China) context, and found that the extent to which norms were aligned or not dete..

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