Applying a model of collective efficacy for understanding consumer and civic pro-environmental actions
Croatian Sociological Society
School of Arts and Humanities
Collective efficacy has been shown to be a significant predictor of people’s ability to intervene effectively on social issues. We examine people’s belief in their collective efficacy and ask if it is useful in understanding pro-environmental behaviour. A survey of 5030 Australians was undertaken in 2011 to understand how Australians across metropolitan, regional and rural Australia think about collective efficacy in relation to climate change and pro-environmental behaviour. Based on previous research, we hypothesised that a sense of collective efficacy on climate change would mediate the relationship between a set of independent variables and pro-environmental consumer and civic actions as follows: education and income might influence individual agency, political persuasion might influence individual inclination, trust in institutions and community involvement relate to social capital and hence scope for collective action. The final models predicted 31% of the variance in consumer actions and 28% of the variance in civic actions. In particular, trust in environmental organisations was found to have the most significant role in predicting both collective efficacy and pro-environmental behaviours.