Limitations of Environmental Campaigning Based on Values for Money, Image, and Status

Limitations of Environmental Campaigning Based on Values for Money, Image, and Status

Category: Reports

Source: Common Cause Foundation

Author(s): Tim Kasser, Tom Crompton

Year: 2011


Since 2009, we have been suggesting that there is a potential danger in those aspects of the Value Modes approach which argue that campaigners should attempt to motivate pro-environmental behaviour by connecting such behaviours to aims like money, image, and status. We have carefully grounded the case that we have advanced in the peer-reviewed scientific literature on values. Because some proponents of Value Modes continue to disagree with us on this point, we wanted to ensure that we have been accurately representing psychological understandings concerning this key difference in our perspectives. This briefing reports the results of a short survey we conducted of eight psychologists who have substantial expertise in these areas. All of these psychologists agreed that individuals who are exposed to messages that propound the importance of money, image and status are more likely to continue to prioritize these values than to decrease how much they care about these values, and that this effect is still likely to occur even if those individuals purchased products and services that successfully expressed these values. Thus, these experts’ opinions stand in direct contrast to claims made by the proponents of Value Modes but support the argument we have made based in the empirical psychological literature.

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