Pro-environmental behaviors for thee but not for me: Green giants, green Gods, and external environmental locus of control
Understanding consumers' allocation of environmental responsibility to external forces (i.e., those perceived to be beyond their direct control) is important yet under-researched. This paper examines how these external attributions affect consumers' pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs). A model of external environmental locus of control (i.e., external-ELOC) is tested, consisting of two superordinate dimensions: powerful-others (encapsulating corporate and government responsibility facets) and chance/fate (incorporating God/higher-power and natural earth-cycle facets). The two higher-order factors negatively associate; such that consumers ascribing environmental responsibility to powerful-others engage in PEBs; whereas those attributing environmental change to chance/fate typically do not. The results inform practical and public policy implications; pinpointing ways for corporations and governments to target their pro-environmental efforts and to sway consumers who share in the ecological burden.
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