When does self-identity predict intention to act green? A self-completion account relying on past behaviour and majority-minority support for pro-environmental values

Fanny Lalot, Alain Quiamzade, Juan M. Falomir-Pichastor, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


“Green” self-identity, that is, how much individuals view themselves as environmentalists, generally predicts pro-environmental intentions and behaviour. Factors moderating the strength of this link are, however, not clear yet. In the present paper, we examine how past green behaviour and majority/minority support for environmental values conjointly moderate the effect of an aspired-to green self-identity on pro-environmental intention. We rely on self-completion theory as an overall framework and propose that self-identity would mainly predict future action to the extent that the self is perceived as incomplete. We report four experimental studies (N = 1078) that assessed green self-identity and measured or manipulated past green versus non-green behaviour, and majority versus minority support for environmental values. Results revealed an overall positive link between self-identity and pro-environmental intention that was cancelled specifically at high levels of past green behaviour when a majority supported the participant's pro-environmental values (i.e., when the self was complete).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 2019



  • Majority support
  • Minimal-maximal standards
  • Minority support
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • Self-completion theory
  • Self-identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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