A new article by Amanda R. Carrico, Kaitlin T. Raimi, Heather Barnes Truelove, and Brianne Eby - “Putting your money where your mouth is: an experimental test of pro-environmental spillover from reducing meat consumption to monetary donations” - appears in the June 2017 edition of Environment and Behavior.
Psychological studies testing behavioral spillover—the notion that behavior change resulting from an intervention affects subsequent similar behaviors—has resulted in conflicting findings in the environmental domain. This study sought to further demarcate the spillover process by asking participants to engage in a difficult first pro-environmental behavior, reducing red meat consumption, for either health or environmental reasons. Evidence of spillover was tested via a subsequent monetary donation to an environmental organization. While there was no evidence of spillover for those in the green behavior condition, those in the health behavior condition were less likely to donate relative to controls. There was evidence that pro-environmental behavior led to an increase in environmental concern. In turn, environmental concern was associated with an increased likelihood of donating. Environmental concern may, thus, be one route to positive spillover in some subsets of the population.