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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Seeking Likes while saving the planet: Extending the Theory of Planned Behaviour to investigate the relationship between climate-related Instagram posts and Pro-Environmental Behaviours

Published: May 25, 2021


Elaine Wallace, National University of Ireland Galway; Isabel Buil, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain


Given the ubiquity of social media and the growing literature on curated self-identity in online posts, a question arises: do Instagram posts reflect actual behaviours? Extending the Theory of Planned Behaviour, this study investigates the relationship between climate change-related posts on Instagram and offline pro-environmental behaviours (PEBs). Specifically, it examines the influence of like-seeking and subjective norms on ‘pro- environmental conspicuous virtue signalling’ (PE CVS), as this study considers pro- environmental posts as a form of CVS. It also explores the influence of PE CVS on PEBs. Findings from a sample of 436 Instagram users show a significant influence of like-seeking and subjective norms on PE CVS, which in turn is positively associated with offline PEBs, in particular with political actions. The findings show a path for those seeking to motivate real world PEBs among those who post about this topic on Instagram.