Psykologisk Institut

Fostering sustainable behavior through group competition

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The challenge of handling the Earth's shared, limited resources calls for strategies that promote sustainable behavior. We examine whether competition between groups can foster sustainable behavior and whether dispositional competitiveness moderates this effect. In two well-powered, pre-registered studies (total N = 1946), participants took part in a common resource microworld, in which they shared a simulated fishery with three computer-controlled fishers whom they believed were real people and who either behaved sustainably or unsustainably. Participants were assigned to one of two conditions: In the competition condition, they were invited to compete to be named the most sustainable group, while participants in the control condition received no such invitation. Additionally, we assessed participants' dispositional competitiveness. Our results show that (1) group competition increased sustainable resource management, both when the other group members behaved sustainably and when the other group members behaved unsustainably, and (2) dispositional competitiveness was negatively associated with sustainable behavior when the other group members overused the common resource. There was, however, no significant evidence for an interaction effect between group competition and dispositional competitiveness. The present study therefore introduces competition between groups as a valuable means to fostering sustainable behavior.

TidsskriftJournal of Environmental Psychology
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2020

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 196565663