Egoistic value is positively associated with pro-environmental attitude and behaviour when the environmental problems are psychologically close

Xiaobin LOU, Man Wai Liman LI, Kenichi ITO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Egoistic value is conceptualized as anti-environmental in many environmental value theories, yet contradictory evidence exists for its relation with pro-environmental attitude and behaviour. To provide insights into these inconsistent findings, this research examined the moderating role of the psychological distance of environmental problems on their relationship. Across one cross-sectional survey study (1008 community participants from the United States) and one World Values Survey study (66,704 nationally representative participants from 46 countries/regions), results converged in showing that psychological distance of environmental problems (i.e. climate change and local pollution) moderated the relationship between egoistic value and pro-environmental attitude and behaviour. Their association became more positive as that psychological distance got closer. Different patterns were observed for altruistic and biospheric values. These findings highlight the potential pro-environmental utility of egoistic value and the importance of paying attention to contexts when theorizing its relation with pro-environmental attitude and behaviour. Copyright © 2024 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Early online dateApr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 2024

Citation

Lou, X., Li, L. M. W., & Ito, K. (2024). Egoistic value is positively associated with pro-environmental attitude and behaviour when the environmental problems are psychologically close. British Journal of Social Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12743

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Climate change
  • Egoistic value
  • Pro-environmental attitude
  • Psychological distance
  • Self-enhancement value

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