Linking Subjective Wellbeing and Pro-environmental Behaviour: A Multidimensional Approach

Linking Sustainability and Happiness

Authors: Dr. Alberto Prati Dr. Christian Krekel

Christian Krekel and Alberto Prati

In recent years, policy-makers have taken steps towards acknowledging the importance of mental states when appraising citizens’ wellbeing on the one side and the urgent challenge of shifting towards a more ecological society on the other. Previous work has established an encouraging positive link between these two seemingly unrelated notions, subjective wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour. This chapter offers an overview of the progress made to date and underlines that both subjective wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour can be structured according to different dimensions that interact in various ways. In this chapter, we empirically investigate some dimensions of both subjective wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour that have been overlooked so far. To do so, we use newly available data collected by the French National Statistical Institute and study seven dimensions of subjective wellbeing as well as attributions of political responsibility and prioritisation about green policies. In doing so, we move beyond the often unidimensional paradigm which associates subjective wellbeing with life satisfaction and pro-environmental behaviour with consumption. Our multidimensional approach offers new insights into which dimension of subjective wellbeing is most predictive of which pro-environmental behaviour and how happy and unhappy citizens have different attitudes about environmental policies.

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