Integrating Factors that Predict Energy Conservation: The Theory of Planned Behavior and Beliefs about Climate Change

Clement, Catherine A.; Henning, Jaime B.; Osbaldiston, Richard
December 2014
Journal of Sustainable Development;Dec2014, Vol. 7 Issue 6, p46
Academic Journal
A survey of college students was used to examine predictors of four types of energy conservation behavior. Our proposed predictors were derived from Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and from problem awareness variables (environmental concern, and knowledge and beliefs about global warming) thought to have indirect effects on conservation via TPB constructs. TPB constructs were significant direct predictors of target behaviors. Perceived behavioral control (PBC) was the strongest and most consistent predictor, predicting all four behaviors, followed by perceived worth (attitude), predicting three behaviors. TPB variables mediated the effects of either environmental concern or beliefs about the consequences of global warming on three behaviors. Finally, there were also significant mediating relationships among TPB variables themselves. Subjective norm predicted perceived worth and PBC, and perceived worth predicted PBC for all but one behavior. Theoretical implications and implications for intervention are discussed. To our knowledge this is the first study to separately demonstrate, in one sample, the predictive value of TPB with respect to different types of energy conservation, and to integrate TPB variables with climate-change beliefs.


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