An examination of the effects of environmental identity and perceived responsibility for environmental degradation on consumers' feeling of collective guilt
Lee, Eui Kyun
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With widespread fears of climate change, global warming, and policymakers calling for reducing our consumption, it is important that we have an understanding of antecedents of consumers’ environmentally-friendly consumption behaviors. In this research, we conduct two studies to examine the interaction effect of environmental identity and perceived responsibility for global warming on consumers’ collective guilt and its subsequent effect on intentions to engage in environmentally-friendly behaviors. Further, we examine a mechanism by which the feeling of collective guilt may be avoided by some. Extending the study by Ferguson and Branscombe (2010), we show that when environmental degradation is perceived to be caused by humans (as opposed to natural factors), it leads to a feeling of collective guilt among those who identify highly with the environment. This collective guilt encourages environmentally-friendly consumption behavior.