Predicting Environmental Behaviors: The Influence of Self-Determined Motivation and Information About Perceived Environmental Health Risks


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    This paper was prepared while the first author was supported by a doctoral scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); the second author was supported by grants from the Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et I'Aide la Recherche (FCAR) and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

concerning this article should be addressed to Lue G. Pelletier, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa. 145 Jean-Jacques Lussier, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5. Canada


The purpose of the present study is to examine the combined contribution of 2 predictors of environmental behaviors, self-determined motivation and information about a particular environmental issue (viz., perceived environmental health risks). The hypothesized model was tested with 761 participants from the general population using structural equation modeling. Self-determined motivation was found to predict both environmental behaviors and the tendency to seek information on health risks coming from 2 main sources (federal government agencies and public groups), which led to more confidence in those sources of information. In turn, confidence in the different sources of information was found to be significantly associated with perceptions of environmental health risks. Finally these perceptions were also found to be predictors of environmental behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of 2 possible processes that could facilitate environmental behaviors.