Mario D'Arco, Generoso Branca, Vittoria Marino, Riccardo Resciniti

Impact of Covid-19 on consumers’ pro-environmental behaviour intentions. Does proximity to an event matter?

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Construal-Level Theory, consumer decision-making, pro-environmental behaviour intentions, proximity to an event, Theory of Planned Behaviour

The purpose of this study is to understand whether the consumers’ proximity to an event, such as the Covid-19, moderates the relationship between pro-environmental behaviour intentions, during the ongoing pandemic and beyond, and its predictors, namely, attitude towards a behaviour, a subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, and extrinsic motive factors, such as government activities and media exposure. An extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour was applied as a theoretical basis for the proposed conceptual model. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire distributed by email and social media. A total of 982 responses were collected during the period from 22 June 2020 to 25 August 2020. Results of the structural equation modelling analysis indicated that among the predictors of pro-environmental behaviour intentions proposed in the conceptual model, the subjective norm has the larger standardised b weight (b = 0.396), followed by extrinsic motive factors (b = 0.257), perceived behavioural control (b = 0.114), and attitude towards a behaviour (b = 0.114). More importantly, the results of this study indicated that proximity to an event moderates, respectively, the relationship be-tween pro-environmental behaviour intentions and attitude towards a behaviour, a subjective norm, and extrinsic motive factors. This study reveals how experiencing disastrous events such as a pandemic can act as a trigger to encourage behaviour change, concretising phenomena perceived as psychologically distant. The research findings help to shed light on important behavioural drivers that can be utilised by governments, policymakers, and marketing practitioners in designing effective strategies with which to engage individuals and promote pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours.

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