How to motivate “normal” people to behave in a more proenvironmental way?
The scientific seminar of ILSCR took place on 4th October. Sebastian Bamberg, the Professor of Psychology Department in Bielefeld University made a presentation called “How to motivate “normal” people to behave in a more proenvironmental way?”
In the report S. Bamberg spoke about the opportunities of application of psychological knowledge to change certain aspects of behavior, which directly influence the environmental situation. How to persuade people to reconsider their daily habits (for example, use of personal cars) that are destructive to the environment? Can person’s awareness that certain types of behavior are harmful to the environment affect to his choice and behavior change? A theoretical model of the dynamic of behavior has been developed to answer these questions. This model includes four stages (predecisional, preactional, actional, postactional) and three crucial processes (goal-intention, behavioral intention, implementation intention). This model postulates that behavioral change can be represented as a transition through qualitatively different stages, each of which represents a particular task. The successful solution of each task takes you to the next stage. The described model can be successfully applied in real life. The SSBS model provides clear guidelines on which strategies interventions targeting people in the predecisional stage should focus on. It can be enhancement of problem awareness, making social norms salient, strengthening perceived ability to change current behavior, etc.
There was a research conducted in Berlin to examine the effectiveness of the model SSBS. The aim was to reduce the daily car use due to intervention (persuasion with a help of different kinds of methods: phone calls, distribution of leaflets which contain information about the negative impact of cars on the environment, the combination of these two influences and repeating of the intervention). The results showed greater efficacy of interpersonal interaction (dialogue with the respondent), compared with an informational influence. Also reducing car use and increasing the use of public transport was more significant between the third and fourth stages.
Overall, the results suggest that the model can be successfully used to change the harmful behavioral habits of citizens.