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Predictors of environmental behaviour: a comparison of known groups

Pamela M. Pensini (Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Ben R. Slugoski (Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary and Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)
Nerina J. Caltabiano (Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 3 August 2012




The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different community groups differ in the extent to which environmentally friendly behaviours are performed, as well as how they differ across a host of other psychologically relevant variables.


The study was conducted via a self‐report questionnaire delivered to four community samples (environmentalists; performance car enthusiasts; young and older people; n=124) assessing demographic information, ecological behaviour, and the psychological variables.


Results showed that environmentalists engage in more ecological behaviour, are more cooperative, have stronger social and personal norms, a more internal locus of control, feel more collective guilt, and identify less with Australia than performance car enthusiasts. Differences in younger and older populations revealed that young people engage in less ecological behaviour, cooperate less, have a more external locus of control, and identify less with Australia.

Practical implications

The study may provide a starting‐point for future research and behaviour change campaigns aiming to develop methods for increasing ecological behaviour in specific segments of the community.


The paper is important in understanding factors contributing to ecological behaviour, and differs from previous research in that it identifies that certain variables are represented differently in different community samples.



Pensini, P.M., Slugoski, B.R. and Caltabiano, N.J. (2012), "Predictors of environmental behaviour: a comparison of known groups", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 536-545.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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