Stereotypes of pro-environmental people: Perception of competence and warmth

Man Wai Liman LI, Weiwei XIA, Kenichi ITO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Mixed findings for the nature of stereotypes of pro-environmental people were found with support for both positively and negatively valenced stereotypes. To carefully examine the stereotype of ordinary pro-environmental people by controlling for the confound of activist behaviors, the present research conducted four studies to examine the perception of competence and warmth for ordinary pro-environmental people in different scenarios and the role of pro-environmental motivation in these processes. Study 1 found that participants perceived a person who used reusable products to be more competent and warmer, demonstrating positive stereotypes of pro-environmental behaviors. Study 2 revealed that participants perceived a person with stronger pro-environmental motivation to be more competent and warmer. Finally, Studies 3a and 3b showed that stronger pro-environmental motivation was associated with greater perceived competence and warmth, which were associated with greater perceived employability in a hiring scenario. However, the effect of pro-environmental behavior on perceived employability was not reliable. These findings highlight the importance of distinguishing the effect of pro-environmental motivations behind the behaviors for a comprehensive understanding of the stereotype of pro-environmental people. These findings also suggest that highlighting the competence and warmth traits associated with pro-environmental behaviors in environmental campaigns can be useful. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102133
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Early online dateSept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


Li, L. M. W., Xia, W., & Ito, K. (2023). Stereotypes of pro-environmental people: Perception of competence and warmth. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 91, Article 102133.


  • Competence
  • Pro-environmental behaviors
  • Pro-environmental motivation
  • Stereotype
  • Warmth


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