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Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialisation behaviours

Whitmarsh, Lorraine, Capstick, Stuart and Nash, Nicholas 2017. Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialisation behaviours. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences 375 , 20160376. 10.1098/rsta.2016.0376

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Abstract

The environmental and economic imperatives to dematerialise economies, or ‘do more with less’, have been established for some years. Yet, to date little is known about the personal drivers associated with dematerialising. This paper explores the prevalence and profile of those who are taking action to reduce consumption in different cultural contexts (UK and Brazil) and considers influences on dematerialisation behaviours. We find exemplar behaviours (avoiding buying new things and avoiding packaging) are far less common than archetypal environmental behaviours (e.g., recycling), but also that cultural context is important (Brazilians are more likely to reduce their material consumption than people in the UK). We also find the two dematerialisation behaviours are associated with different pro-environmental actions (more radical action versus green consumption, respectively); and have distinct, but overlapping, psychological (e.g., identity) and socio-demographic (e.g., education) predictors. Comparing a more traditional valueidentity model of pro-environmental behaviour with a motivation-based (self-determination) model, we find the latter explains somewhat more variance than the former. However, overall little variance is explained, suggesting that additional factors at the personal and structural levels are important for determining these consumption behaviours. We conclude by outlining policy implications and avenues for further research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: dematerialisation, cross-cultural, behaviour, self-determination, identity, values
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 1364-503X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 February 2017
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 20:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/100615

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