The malleability of environmentalism

Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni*, Min Li, Leigh L. Thompson, Max H. Bazerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this article, we predict and find that self-perceptions of environmentalism are changed by subtle manipulations of context and, in turn, affect environmental behavior. In Study 1, we found that people exhibit greater positive assessments of their environmental behaviors (1) in the context of denying harm to the environment than in the context of claiming to help the environment, and (2) in situations where behaviors are evaluated subjectively than in situations where behaviors are evaluated more objectively. In Study 2, we explored the relationship between self-perceptions of environmentalism and environmental behaviors. Our data suggest that environmentally friendly behaviors may be promoted by leading people to perceive themselves as good environmentalists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-189
Number of pages27
JournalAnalyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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