Habit and Climate Change (and Related Behaviors)

URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/current-opinion-in-behavioral-sciences/vol/42/suppl/C

Many climate-relevant behaviours are habitual rather than intentional. Since changing contexts can effectively break habits, interventions may be more effective when habits are disrupted - for example, when people have recently relocated, and through the use of incentives, nudges and competitions. Linking behavior to identity and a stable context, can create durable habits.


Article Abstract: "Many climate-relevant behaviours are habitual rather than intentional. Habits are memory-based propensities to respond automatically to specific cues, acquired by repetition of behaviours in stable contexts. Socio-cognitive models are widely used to predict climate-relevant behaviours, but by positing behavior as intentional, provide a poor account of habitual behaviours. While unsustainable habits are barriers to change, their very features (frequent, automatic and resistant to change) also make them desirable for sustainable behaviours to obtain. While informational approaches are generally ineffective for breaking habits, legislation, incentives, nudges, implementation intentions, competitions, and moments of change (e.g., moving house) are more effective. Linking behaviour to identity and a stable context can ensure new habits to endure. Psychological theories and policy efficacy can be greatly improved by attention to habits."

Topics: Climate change mitigation, Energy efficiency, Sustainable transportation, Climate change adaptation
Resource Type: strategies and interventions
Publisher: Science Direct - Elsevier
Date Last Updated: 2023-03-14 13:13:29

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