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Understanding and leveraging ‘moments of change’ for pro-environmental behaviour shifts

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MOCHA (Understanding and leveraging ‘moments of change’ for pro-environmental behaviour shifts)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-06-30

Responding to climate change requires profound changes to individual behaviour. However, much of our behaviour is habitual, resistant to change, and cued by stable contexts (i.e. same time, place and/or social group). When these habits are disrupted, it provides an opportunity to intervene to foster pro-environmental behaviour.

There are two objectives for the research:
- To explore and track moments of pro-environmental behaviour change across cultures and life course;
- To examine the effectiveness of behavioural interventions targeted to moments of change.

‘Moments of change’ are when individual life circumstances shift within a short time frame, and include biographical and external changes (e.g. becoming a parent, travel disruption). The relationship between moments of change and environmental impact is complex, with differences between individuals, cultures and behaviours.

This project brings together insights from several fields to bring a much-needed focus on the timings and causes of pro-environmental behaviour (change).

This project promises a step-change in understanding the dynamics of pro-environmental change across the life course and cultures, and the development of robust habit-disrupting interventions to target ‘moments of change’ to foster lifestyle change.

Three work packages address the project’s objectives through an ambitious programme of cross-cultural research using secondary and big data analyses, longitudinal qualitative interviews and panel surveys to explore moments of change. These are:
- Exploring moments of pro-environmental change across cultures and life-course
- Longitudinal behavioural analysis of moments of change
- Interventions targeted to moments of change
Work is ongoing to review the literature, develop a conceptual model, and design fieldwork. In light of COVID-19, we are moving our cross-cultural interviews online. Secondary data analysis is advanced and will produce results soon.
Expected results are in line with WPs:
- Exploring moments of pro-environmental change across cultures and life-course
- Longitudinal behavioural analysis of moments of change
- Interventions targeted to moments of change