Pro-Environmental Behaviors for Thee But Not for Me: Green Giants, Green Gods, and External Environmental Locus of Control


Marketing and Professional Sales

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Understanding consumers' allocation of environmental responsibility to external forces (i.e., those perceived to be beyond their direct control) is important yet under-researched. This paper examines how these external attributions affect consumers' pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs). A model of external environmental locus of control (i.e., external-ELOC) is tested, consisting of two superordinate dimensions: powerful-others (encapsulating corporate and government responsibility facets) and chance/fate (incorporating God/higher-power and natural earth-cycle facets). The two higher-order factors negatively associate; such that consumers ascribing environmental responsibility to powerful-others engage in PEBs; whereas those attributing environmental change to chance/fate typically do not. The results inform practical and public policy implications; pinpointing ways for corporations and governments to target their pro-environmental efforts and to sway consumers who share in the ecological burden.