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Warm glow is associated with low- but not high-cost sustainable behaviour

Nature Sustainabilityvolume 1pages2830 (2018) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Why do people contribute to important societal causes, such as sustainability? This study hypothesized that people are motivated to help because they anticipate a sense of warm glow from acting green. Although results reveal that ‘feel-good’ affect mostly drives low- rather than high-cost behaviour changes, harnessing people’s intrinsic motivation to help the environment may be an underleveraged mechanism for promoting sustainability.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication for their support.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Psychology, Downing Site, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    • Sander van der Linden

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S.v.d.L. is the sole author of this article and is fully responsible for its content.

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The author declares no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sander van der Linden.

Electronic supplementary material

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Tables 1–3, Supplementary Fig. 1 and Supplementary References

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-017-0001-0

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