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Most People Think They Are More Pro-Environmental than Others: A Demonstration of the Better-than-Average Effect in Perceived Pro-Environmental Behavioral Engagement

Journal article
Authors Magnus Bergquist
Published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology
Volume 42
Issue 1
Pages 50-61
ISSN 0197-3533
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 50-61
Language en
Keywords response styles, risk, bias, spillover, optimism, us, Psychology
Subject categories Psychology


People tend to perceive themselves as better than average in various contexts. In this article I test if the better-than-average effect (BTAE) also holds for pro-environmental behavioral engagement. Experiment 1 supported that the majority of participants report to be more pro-environmental than others, using a large representative sample. Experiment 2 validated these findings in 3 additional cultures (United States, United Kingdom, and India) and showed that BTAE held for both abstract (other Americans) and concrete (my friends) comparisons. Experiment 3 found that participants overestimated both how "much" and how "often" they engage in pro-environmental actions. Finally, Experiment 4 found weak support for the hypothesis that inducing BTAE are inhibiting future pro-environmental behaviors.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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