Two experiments demonstrate that participants' willingness to endorse adopting pro-environmental behaviors is influenced substantially by a decision-framing effect: the inclusion–exclusion discrepancy. Participants were presented with a list of 26 pro-environmental behaviors (e.g., take a shorter shower, buy local produce). In both experiments, participants asked to cross out the behaviors they would not be willing to engage in (exclusion mindset) generated 30% larger consideration sets than those asked to circle behaviors that they would be willing to do (inclusion mindset). Experiment 2 identified qualities of the behaviors that accounted for the differences in the size of consideration sets, namely effort and opportunity. The results suggest the counter-intuitive notion that encouraging people to think about what they would not do for the environment might lead them to do more.
Denson, T. F
; McDonald, R
; Newell, R
Would you rule out going green? The effect of inclusion versus exclusion mindset on pro-environmental willingness European Journal of Social Psychology
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