The influence of moral credentials and sociopolitical ideology on the negative spillover of environmental behaviours
thesisposted on 2021-05-23, 15:06 authored by Shannon Currie
The present thesis investigated whether negative spillover of environmental behaviours (i.e., when engaging in one green behaviour decreases engagement in subsequent pro-environmental behaviours) can be explained within the framework of the moral credentials phenomenon (i.e., when engaging in one moral behaviour reduces engagement in further moral behaviours). Specifically, the goal was to test whether a boost in self-esteem following a green behaviour increased the likelihood of a moral credential negative spillover effect, and whether this effect was more likely for left-wingers (vs. right-wingers), because they perceive green behaviours as more moral. Study 1 found, as predicted, that left-wingers (vs. right-wingers) perceived green behaviours as more moral and that positive feelings associated with engaging in green behaviours mediated this relation. Furthermore, Study 2 found there was a marginally significant moral credential negative spillover effect. However, the proposed moderating effect of political orientation and mediating effect of self-esteem were not found.