Drawing on social, community, and place identity theories, we predicted that individuals whose identities are based, at least in part, on the place where they reside would be more likely to engage in environmentally responsible behaviors, or ERBs. Study 1 tested this hypothesis by assessing residents’ localized community identification and their willingness to take steps to protect and enhance local streams and waterways. Study 2 experimentally manipulated residents’ sense of community. Both studies confirmed that (a) increases in one's sense of community were associated with increases in willingness to protect water resources and (b) pro‐environment behavioral intentions were stronger when identity was more localized (neighborhood‐based rather than regionally based). These findings support a nested conception of placed‐based community identity, which could inform strategies to encourage pro‐environmental water conservation and resource management.
Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2015