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Environmental Attitudes and Environmental Behavior

The relationship between environmental concern and environmental behavior is often subject of environmental sociology. This research examines the question of whether and to what extent environmental attitudes transfer into pro-environmental behavior. A common finding is that people do behave in an environmentally conscious manner, as long as this does not cause any (or only minor) additional costs. Repeatedly, the question arises in different contexts how exactly this relationship is shaped. In other words, how to model the interplay of attitude, costs and behavior?

In this context, the term “environmental justice” increasingly refers to the relationship between people affected by environmental burdens and people who cause them. A discrepancy between causing environmental burdens and being affected by their consequences may hinder the successful reduction of environmental burdens. Under which conditions, however, do effective environmental protection measures nevertheless find broad approval? What is the impact of monetary as well as non-monetary costs or individual benefits from such measures?

An important aspect of environmental behavior is the choice of transport. One focus of the project is to examine mobility behavior and associated attitudes. Which factors influence environmental conscious modal choices? Does environmental concern contribute to increased use of public transport? What attitudes exist toward measures to reduce toad traffic related environmental pollution in inner cities, such as the introduction of city tolls?

We are currently conducting a survey of the general population on the use of and attitudes toward the 9-Euro-Ticket for public transportation: How often and for what purposes do respondents use the 9-Euro-Ticket?
Are journeys that were previously made by car actually being substituted? And what barriers remain to the use of buses and trains? In addition, attitudes and perceptions of fairness regarding different more or less climate-friendly lifestyles are surveyed, as well as the willingness to make individual behavioral changes. We also survey the evaluation of different forms of protest behavior within the context of the public debate on environmental and climate protection as well as a socially just distribution of the associated burdens. First results are expected in fall 2022.

See also: Environmental Study Bavaria


Thiel, F., 2020: Die Low-Cost-Hypothese. Ein empirischer Test am Beispiel der Befürwortung einer City-Maut. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (61), doi:10.1007/s11577-020-00712-0

Thiel, F., 2021: Support for city road tolls: a question of self-interest? In: A. Franzen, S. Mader (eds.): Research Handbook on Environmental Sociology. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800370456.00026

Contact: Katrin Auspurg katrin.auspurg@lmu.de; Fabian Thiel fabian.thiel@lmu.de