Motivation for Pro-Environmental Behavior
Over the past several decades, there have been many fluctuations in society's environmental behavior as a whole. Pro-environmental behavior increases in times of crisis, but when crises are averted, habits tend to not stay with people. There are dramatic differences in environmentally conscious behaviors observed in several demographics including race, income, social class, education, age, and urban versus rural residency. However, there are several factors contributing to these differences in demographic groups that have to do with how peoples' attitudes were formed. If people have had positive experiences in nature in the past, they are more responsive to and aware of environmental problems. People are also more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviors if the costs of doing so do not outweigh the benefits. The lower the perceived cost or nuisance of an activity, the more likely people are to perform the activity. Research has shown that attribution is more effective in motivating people than persuasion. However, the reviewed literature only reviews the effects of these treatments for a period of 2 weeks. Future research should examine the long-term effects of attribution and persuasion treatments.