Explaining Proenvironmental Intention and Behavior by Personal Norms and the Theory of Planned Behavior

Harland, P., Staats, H. & Wilke-Henk, A. M. (1999). Explaining proenvironmental intention and behavior by personal norms and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 12, 2505-2528.

The value of personal norms (S. H. Schwartz, 1977) for proenvironmental behavior has been demonstrated in previous studies (J. Vining and A. Ebreo, 1992), but not in addition to the theory of planned behavior (I. Ajzen and T. J. Madden, 1986). In the present study, this combination was examined by means of a mail survey among a sample of 305 Dutch citizens (average age 47 yrs) who were enlisted to participate in a behavioral change intervention program on environmentally relevant behavior. Personal norms appear to increase the proportion of explained variance in 5 intentions and 4 self-reported measures of performed environmentally relevant behaviors beyond that explained by 3 of the theory of planned behavior constructs (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control). Issues evoked by these results are discussed.

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