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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Proud and Relieved? How Consumers’ Emotions towards an Environmental Policy Affect Perceived Policy Effectiveness and Pro-Environmental Behavior

Published: May 25, 2021


Zeinab Rezvani, University of Southern Denmark; Stefanie Sohn, University of Southern Denmark; Johan Jansson, Umeå University; Oliver Schnittka, University of Southern Denmark


Public policymakers have made substantial efforts to promote individuals’ pro-environmental behavior. However, knowledge is sparse on why people support these initiatives and, most importantly, why and how these efforts shape consumers’ direct or activist pro-environmental behavior. Therefore, the present study examines how consumers’ emotions towards the outcomes of an environmental policy affect both indirect or non-activist (i.e. support for policy) and direct or activist pro-environmental behavior (i.e. purchase intention for fossil fuel free cars). The findings of an empirical study among Swedish consumers show that feelings of pride and guilt-relief associated with the outcome of an environmental policy positively influence activist and non-activist pro-environmental behavior through perceptions of policy effectiveness. The findings help academics to understand consumers’ pro-environmental behavior from a policy perspective and yield insights for policymakers and practitioners.