Involved, United, and Efficacious: Could Self-Affirmation Be the Solution to California’s Drought?

Nathan Walter*, Stefanie Z. Demetriades, Sheila T. Murphy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-affirmation theory posits that thoughts and actions that affirm an important aspect of the self-concept can make people more susceptible to change by casting their self in a positive light. Whereas much of the current literature has been restricted to individual-level concerns, the current study provides longitudinal evidence for behavioral outcomes in the context of the California drought, advancing our theoretical knowledge regarding the underlying processes that lead self-affirmed individuals to address societal risks and collective concerns. The results of a three-wave experimental study (N = 91) indicated that relative to nonaffirmed counterparts, self-affirmed participants reported on higher levels of support for water conservation policies, as well as on reduction of water use that endured for 30 days following the self-affirming manipulation. In both cases, the effects were mediated by collective-efficacy but not by self-efficacy. Relevant explanations are considered and practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1170
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Volume32
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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