Can you change your behavior?
Last semester, I put on 7kg. Since then, I have kept saying “I need to lose weight! I need to exercise!” However, till now, I haven’t done any exercise. I guess it is not only me who has experienced a diet failure.
“Be friendly to environment” is another example of a failure to change behavior. The media says we need to act friendly towards the environment.
Can you stop driving a car and take a bus starting tomorrow to decrease the amount of CO2 emission?
Anja K. (2010) mentioned in her paper that even though a lot of research has been done, no definitions for representing the gap between having environmental knowledge and being environmentally aware, and displaying a pro-environmental behavior have been found. She disserts the factors that have been found to have some positive or negative effects on pro-environmental behavior, such as demographic factors, external factors and internal factors. She also describes why people act environmentally and what the barriers to pro-environmental behavior are.
Changing people’s behavior is one of the big goals of science communicators. However, from my experience with dieting, I know that it is really hard to change behavior in daily life even though it is required to improve ourselves, and it is even harder to change behavior just for the environment.
Anja K also mentioned that pro-environmental behavior is affected by “Situational factors”.
You might be able to ride a bicycle to university instead of driving a car if you have time and enthusiasm. This would help you get in shape. However, you definitely would pick a car if you are in hurry, and I have to say we are in hurry in most cases!
So, how can we force ourselves to change our behavior? Please let me know your opinion.
Anja K. & Julian A. (2002), Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior?, Environmental Education Research, 8:3, 239-260
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