Admonishment and praise: Interpersonal mechanisms for promoting proenvironmental behavior

Janet Kay Swim, Brittany Bloodhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Two studies revealed that admonishing individuals for antienvironmental behavior via interpersonal communication (i.e., confronting) increased proenvironmental behavior. Although there was some evidence that praising proenvironmental behavior resulted in the intention to do other proenvironmental behavior, this behavioral spillover was only found in Study 2. A serendipitous effect was that subtle encouragement to do proenvironmental behavior increased the likelihood of engaging in proenvironmental behaviors and, in Study 1, behavioral spillover. This effect seems to be largely explained by a drive for behavioral consistency. Emotions (e.g., guilt and pride) and attention to environmental behavior information did not explain effects, potentially because participants could attribute their behavior to habits or external forces rather than intentionally being anti- or proenvironmental behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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