Strategies for Promoting Proenvironmental Behavior: Lots of Tools but Few Instructions

Short Description

The author, a social psychology professor at California State University, San Marcos focusing on promoting conservation, begins by summarizing research findings on the effects of behavior change, quickly identifying that no single tool works all the time – effectiveness is situational.  The challenge for changing behavior is to match the right tool to the right audiences.  Strategies based in community-based social marketing (CBSM) framework include identifying target behaviors, benefits and barriers, developing a program decreasing barriers while increasing benefits, piloting a program, then implementing and evaluating the full scale program.  The author places nine commonly used behavior change tools on a barrier vs. benefits grid and describes each quadrant and the tools located there.  Emphasis on knowing your audience and matching them with the correct tool is an essential part of effectively implementing CBSM strategy.  The author concludes with practical considerations for implementing behavior change initiatives, most notably cost and time.

Suggested Citation

Schultz, P. (2014). Strategies for promoting proenvironmental behavior:  Lots of tools but few instructions. European Psychologist, 19(2), 107-117.