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Posted Wed May 4 2011: from Miller-McCune:
Environmental Footprints May Produce Backlash
Measuring a person's ecological footprint or carbon footprint is a popular tool among environmentalists. Many see it as a way to educate people about the damage they inflict on the environment on an everyday basis -- information that may prompt them to change their behavior. But newly published research suggests that for many people -- perhaps most -- the receipt of such data may produce the opposite result. In an experiment described in the journal Social Influence, "Only people who had invested their self-esteem in environmentalism -- a strong form of commitment -- reacted to negative environmental-footprint feedback by engaging in a pro-environment behavior," writes Santa Clara University psychologist Amara Brook. "Others were less likely to engage in a pro-environmental behavior after negative feedback."
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