Encouraging Environmentally Appropriate Behavior: The Role of Intrinsic Motivation

Raymond De Young

DOI: 10.2190/3FWV-4WM0-R6MC-2URB


Despite over a decade of intense research we know surprisingly little about what encourages people to adopt and maintain an ecologically compatible lifestyle. The purpose of this research was to understand the types of motives people have to conserve natural resources during their daily activities. Data from 263 respondents to a mail-back questionnaire were subjected to dimensional analysis and analysis of variance. Three sets of scales were examined in detail: behaviors, satisfactions, and motivations. The results indicate that people have a variety of motives for conserving resources and derive a series of distinct satisfactions from both recycling and reusing materials. The findings support the notion of a strong relationship between intrinsic motivation and everyday conservation behavior. These findings suggest our understanding of why people conserve resources may be improved by investigating intrinsic motivation and the personal satisfactions derived from conservation activities.

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