Scientists predict that climate change will cause substantial changes to life on our planet, and that human behavior should change substantially in order to mitigate its impact. Hence, we propose that lay theories of change are among the psychological factors that can influence pro-environmental engagement. We predicted that people who think of the world as relatively stable will be more likely to be skeptical about anthropogenic climate change. They should also be less likely to believe that society can change in ways that could alleviate or avert its consequences. In turn, their skepticism about climate change and their beliefs about mitigation are expected to influence their willingness to engage in pro-environmental behavior. A survey conducted with American adults (N = 297) supported these hypotheses; lay theories predicted people's beliefs about climate change and about the possibility of mitigation, which in turn influenced their intentions to engage in pro-environmental behaviors.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Climate change, Environmental behavior, Lay theories, Mitigation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2017.01.008
Journal Journal of Environmental Psychology
Citation
Soliman, M. (Monica), & Wilson, A.E. (Anne E.). (2017). Seeing change and being change in the world: The relationship between lay theories about the world and environmental intentions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 50, 104–111. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2017.01.008