Neue Publikation: The supportive role of environmental attitude for learning about environmental issues
Kaiser, F. G., Kibbe, A. & Hentschke, L. (2021). Offsetting behavioral costs with personal attitude: A slightly more complex view of the attitude-behavior relation. Personality and Individual Differences, 183, 111158.
Available free of charge for the next 50 days: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1dUlWheKdmtb1
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.111158
In this research, we propose that the notorious attitude-behavior gap—the notion that people profess attitudes without taking real actions—might also stem from ignoring the fact that manifest behavior typically involves costs (i.e., personal resources such as time, money, exertion). In two quasi-field experiments with convenience samples (N1 = 396; N2 = 252), we demonstrate that the people who performed increasingly costly behavior professed progressively stronger attitudes. Our findings suggest that the costs that obstruct behavior must be offset by attitudes before behavior can manifest itself. Thus, there is a need to stop confusing weak attitude-behavior correlations with the behavioral irrelevance of attitudes. To avoid underestimating the importance of people's attitudes concerning environmental protection, the strength of attitudes relative to the associated behavioral costs must be considered.
• A too simplistic view of the attitude-behavior relation makes it appear inconsistent.
• Attitudes reflect the occurrence probabilities of attitude-relevant behavior.
• Progressively stronger attitudes compensate for increasingly costly behavior.
• Surmounted behavioral costs coincide with the strength of environmental attitudes.
• Undemanding opinions must not be confused with behavior-relevant attitudes.