The value of what others value: When perceived biospheric group values influenceindividuals’ pro-environmental engagement

Thijs Bouman*, Linda Steg, Stephanie Johnson-Zawadzki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)
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It is well-understood that biospheric personal values (i.e., finding it important to care about nature and the environment) predict individuals' pro-environmental engagement (i.e., motivations, beliefs, attitudes, actions). Yet, little is known about the potential influence group's biospheric values may have on individuals' pro-environmental engagement. In the current paper we hypothesized that when individuals perceive their group to prioritize biospheric values more strongly, their pro-environmental engagement becomes stronger (H1), and that this relationship is particularly pronounced among individuals who strongly identify with the group (H2) and who do not already strongly endorse biospheric values themselves (H3). Our study among 1711 Americans, who depending on the condition answered questions about either their American or political identity (i.e., liberal or conservative, depending on the respondent's political affiliation), found consistent support for our hypotheses across all groups. Our findings have important implications for theory on values and groups, as well for practice. Discussion provides new avenues for future research and interventions, particularly for how to motivate individuals who are not strongly personally motivated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101470
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2020


  • values
  • biospheric values
  • group values
  • identification
  • pro-environmental behavior
  • pro-environmental action
  • pro-environmental engagement
  • climate action
  • American identity

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