The Psychology of Proenvironmental Support: In Search of Global Solutions for a Global Problem

Kimin Eom, Viki Papadakis, David K. Sherman, Heejung S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We review research that provides a sociocultural perspective on proenvironmental support. Despite the increasing volume of psychological research on proenvironmental action, there has been a relative dearth of consideration of sociocultural contexts, which poses critical theoretical and practical limitations to understanding and fostering proenvironmental actions across diverse populations. The sociocultural perspective posits that the primary motives driving action are context dependent. Building on this perspective, our research examines significant divergence in key determinants of proenvironmental support, focusing on several sociocultural variables, including national culture (individualism-collectivism), socioeconomic status, and religion. This program of research shows that personal environmental beliefs more directly lead to proenvironmental support in sociocultural contexts that prioritize personal motives over social motives. In contrast, in contexts that prioritize social motives, social influence becomes a more important predictor of proenvironmental support. Solving environmental challenges requires leveraging psychological diversity to motivate people across the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-495
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by National Science Foundation Grant BCS-1823824.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • culture
  • environmental behavior
  • environmental belief
  • religion
  • socioeconomic status


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