Climate change action as a project of identity: Eight meta-analyses
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionGlobal Environmental Change. 2021, 70 . 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102322
Identity can improve our understanding of personal climate action, particularly when climate action becomes an expression of a person’s self. However, it is unclear which kind of self or identity is most relevant. Building on a comprehensive series of eight meta-analyses (using data from 188 published articles, N = 414,282 participants) this research systematically compares how strongly climate-friendly intentions and behaviors are associated with place identity, personal connectedness to nature, environmental self-identity (i.e., personal self-definition as a pro-environmentally acting person), and social identity (i.e., identification with social groups). Results suggest robust, medium-sized to strong links of both pro-environmental intentions and behaviors to people’s nature connectedness (r = 0.44/0.52), environmental self-identity (r = 0.62/0.56), and identification with groups considered to support climate-friendly behavior (r = 0.48/0.51), but markedly weaker effects for identification with groups which are unrelated to environmental topics (r = 0.30/0.15) and for place identity (r = 0.18/0.32). Implications for policy interventions and psychological theory are discussed.