The Impact of Nature Exposure on Pro-Environmental Behavior: an Experimental Investigation
Lisette Ibanez  1, 2@  , Jean-Charles Latourte  3@  , Sébastien Roussel  1, 4@  
1 : Centre dÉconomie de lÉnvironnement - Montpellier - FRE2010  (CEE-M)  -  Site web
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : FRE2010, Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Montpellier
2 Place VialaINRA - MSA34060 Montpellier Cedex 2 -  France
2 : Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l'Environnement
INRAE
3 : Institut national de la recherche agronomique [Montpellier]
CEE-M
4 : Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3  -  Site web
Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3

Would people behave in more pro-environmentally after simply being exposed to a surrounding that is reminiscent of nature? In order to address this question, we carry out a laboratory experiment where we test participants' likelihood of carrying out two types of Pro-Environmental Behavior (PEB): a monetary effort of donating to an Environmental Non-Governmental Organization (ENGO) that we call an eco-donation, and a non-monetary effort of recycling that we call an eco-action. We construct three different decision-making frameworks through showing participants videos of an urban setting, a nature setting and a "positive emotions" setting (not linked to nature). We find that exposure to nature boosts both eco-donations and eco-actions. Our results highlight that there is no direct link between these PEB in terms of spillover effects. Interestingly, the impact of nature exposure on eco-donation is greater on individuals with a lowcenvironmental consciousness score, whereas the impact on eco-action is greater on individuals with a high level of environmental consciousness. Our work provides new avenues for designing environmental protection policies based on behavioral insights.



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