The Perceived Feasibility of Behavior Change Is Positively Associated with Support for Domain-matched Climate Policies

Charlotte A. Kukowski*, Wilhelm Hofmann, Jon Roozenbeek, Sander van der Linden, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Kristian S. Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Significant greenhouse gas emission reductions can come from changing consumer behaviors. While the technical mitigation potential of such changes is known, evidence of their feasibility is less abundant. In a pre-registered international survey with mostly North American and European participants (n = 7,349), we examined the predictors and interrelationships between people’s perceived feasibility of changing consumer behaviors with low and high climate impact, their performance of these behaviors, and their support for behavior-regulating policies. Using regression analyses, we found that the key predictors of perceived behavioral plasticity, policy support, and behavioral performance were the perceived need for system change and environmental identity with more mixed results for the perceived effectiveness of individual action and trust in government. Our findings underscore the untapped potential of individual behavior change to accelerate climate change mitigation, demonstrating considerable plasticity in several high-impact behaviors and that individual behavior change need not preclude support for political change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOne Earth
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1554-1563
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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