Self-affirmation theory and pro-environmental behaviour: promoting a reduction in household food waste

Graham-Rowe, Ella, Jessop, Donna C and Sparks, Paul (2019) Self-affirmation theory and pro-environmental behaviour: promoting a reduction in household food waste. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 62. pp. 124-132. ISSN 0272-4944

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Abstract

Household food waste has a significant detrimental impact on the environment. However, despite national campaigns, people in high income countries throw away a sizeable proportion of the food they purchase. The present study investigated whether self-affirmation could promote openness to information detailing the negative consequences of household food waste, with a particular focus on fruit and vegetable waste. Participants (N = 362) completed either a standard self-affirmation manipulation, an integrated self-affirmation manipulation or a control task before reading the information and completing a series of measures assessing cognitive antecedents of behaviour. Household fruit and vegetable waste was self-reported one-week later. Compared to their non-affirmed counterparts, participants in the standard self-affirmation condition wasted less fruit and vegetables at follow-up. The findings suggest that self-affirmation has the potential to promote engagement with pro-environmental behaviour. Research should continue to explore how to integrate self-affirmation successfully within pro-environmental campaigns.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Self-affirmation theory; behaviour change; food waste; pro-environmental behaviour; sustainability
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 11:27
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 17:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82639

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