Shifting from Information- to Experience-Based Climate Change Communication Increases Pro-Environmental Behavior Via Efficacy Beliefs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

To reach necessary greenhouse gas emissions targets, behavior change is necessary at the consumer level. However, standard information-based interventions struggle to change environmentally impactful behaviors like beef consumption. Experience-based communication that engages non-analytical systems can be crucial for changing our beliefs that our behavior makes a difference. Immersive virtual reality (VR) in the metaverse represents a shift toward experience-based environmental communication. In this preregistered 2 (VR experience vs. VR information) x 2 (indulgent vs. explicit labeling) study (N = 167), we tested the effectiveness of VR experience-based communication and cost-effective nudging to promote sustainable diets. Label manipulation showed no effect on meat consumption. The VR experience led to stronger pro-environmental intentions and more pro-environmental behavior in VR and real life than the VR information condition. Mediation analyses confirm that experience-based VR communication can enhance people’s efficacy beliefs, increasing their intentions and, consequently, reducing beef consumption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • behavior change, environmental communication, metaverse, pro-environmental behavior, sustainable diets, virtual reality

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