Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2012


Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of empathy and perspective-taking in influencing

environmental concern (Sevilliano, Aragones, & Schultz, 2007) Although there may be a number of internal factors that inhibit pro-environmental behavior, it is important to evaluate the ways by which we can use emotion to encourage this type of behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of emotion on eco-friendly behavior by investigating the effect of viewing high- or low-fear appeals on changing consumers‘ food choices will have on their attitudes and behaviors. Results show that the

likelihood that a participant intended to partake in more pro-environmental behaviors was generally greater after viewing the low-fear video after viewing the high-fear video. The investigation of emotions‘ role in sustainability suggests that while high-fear interventions may have a positive effect on intention to be more sustainable, a low-fear intervention may have an even greater progressive influence. These results provide preliminary evidence for the importance of emotion in efforts toward a more sustainable environment.