High-status pro-environmental behaviors: Costly, effortful, and visible
Environment and Behavior
School of Arts and Humanities
Diffusion of pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) is known to be influenced by the perceived social status of those behaviors, but little is known about what gives PEBs social status. A sample of Australian residents (N = 601) were asked to rate the social status of 16 PEBs and report their self and public environmental identities. Environmental identities accounted for 18% to 19% of the variance in social status ratings. Efficiency behaviors were perceived as conveying the greatest social status, and activism behaviors the least. Visibility, cost, and effort also predicted perceived social status. Short-answer responses indicated the social status ratings of PEBs were also dependent on the perceived environmental motivations for performing those behaviors. Understanding which PEBs are seen as high status provides insight into PEBs that may be easiest to promote and sheds light on the broader social structures that influence social status perceptions.