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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Alexander John Heeren, Ajay S. Singh, Adam Zwickle, Tomas M. Koontz, Kristina M. Slagle and Anna C. McCreery

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship of sustainability knowledge to pro-environmental behaviour. A common misperception is that unsustainable…

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2655

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship of sustainability knowledge to pro-environmental behaviour. A common misperception is that unsustainable behaviours are largely driven by a lack of knowledge of the underlying societal costs and the contributing factors leading to environmental degradation. Such a perception assumes if individuals “only knew better” they would engage in more sustainable behaviours. The “knowledge deficit model” has been critiqued for not including social psychological research about how knowledge is incorporated into decision-making and its subsequent effect on human behaviour. The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) model has been used extensively to examine intention to engage in a variety of behaviours, therefore this model is applied to examine the effect knowledge has in predicting behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

To better understand these relationships, the authors examined the relationships between sustainability behaviours through an online survey of over 500 students at a large university in the USA.

Findings

Results indicate that knowledge had a significant, albeit weak, bivariate correlation with behaviour (r = 0.113, p < 0.001). However, when controlling for TPB variables (attitudes, norms and perceived behavioural control), knowledge was not a significant predictor of behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

The authors conclude with several implications to guide university sustainability programmes.

Originality/value

This study places sustainable knowledge in the context of other social psychological factors which also influence behaviour. The results show that as the students are educated about sustainability, fostering behaviour change will require education not only about how actions affect sustainability but also about social norms, attitudes towards sustainable behaviours and the level of self-efficacy in doing those behaviours.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

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1333

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1990

Vincent‐Wayne Mitchell and Michael Greatorex

The theory of perceived risk has been examined in many consumerproduct areas but nowhere is it more applicable than in the purchase offood. Recent food scares, which have…

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1145

Abstract

The theory of perceived risk has been examined in many consumer product areas but nowhere is it more applicable than in the purchase of food. Recent food scares, which have greatly increased consumers′ perceived risk and decreased demand, have been testament to its power. The numerous food scares, e.g. apple, tuna fish, babyfood and salmonella in eggs, which have taken place over the past year in the UK, are discussed and the results of a pilot study examining eight food products: restaurant meals, wine, sausages, fast food, tinned pilchards, apples, instant coffee and chocolate are reported. The order of perceived risks in purchase was the same as above, with a restaurant meal being the most risky. The most useful risk‐reducing strategy was brand loyalty, followed by reading consumer guides and then reading product information. The least useful were the use of special offers and celebrity endorsement. Companies and academics should realise the potential importance of this concept in consumer behaviour research. It is hoped that more research will be stimulated.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 92 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Vincent‐Wayne Mitchell

Reviews the literature on consumer‐perceived risk over the past 30 years. The review begins by establishing perceived risk’s relationship with related marketing constructs…

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29440

Abstract

Reviews the literature on consumer‐perceived risk over the past 30 years. The review begins by establishing perceived risk’s relationship with related marketing constructs such as involvement and trust. It then tackles some debates within the literature, concerning subjective and objective risk and differences between the concepts of risk and uncertainty. It describes how different models have been devised and operationalised to measure risk and how these have developed over the years. Aims to identify and report the theoretical and model developments over the past 30 years and to propose criteria which researchers can use in deciding the most useful model for their own research. The criteria are: understanding, prediction, suitability for reliability and validity assessment, practicality and usability. It is suggested that the basic two‐component model is still the most generally useful for researchers and practitioners alike.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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