The COVID-19 pandemic as an impetus for pro-environmental behaviours: The role of causal attribution

Ahmad Daryanto, Zening Song*, Didier Soopramanien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we examine the impact of causal attribution on pro-environmental behaviours in the context of COVID-19. Using data collected in July 2020 (N = 319 Chinese adults), we find that individuals' beliefs that the pandemic was caused by humanity's excessive intrusion into nature has a positive impact on their environmental awareness. This, in turn, triggers a positive behavioural change towards the environment. The current study unveils and empirically demonstrates the mechanism of the relationship between causal attribution of the pandemic and pro-environmental behaviour. The implication is that the pandemic presents an occasion for policymakers to consider human environmental intrusion as a causal attribution to engage individuals in pro-environmental behaviours through the design of strategies that explicitly emphasize the relationship between environmental degradation and global-scale epidemics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111415
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Causal attribution
  • Environmental awareness
  • Negative emotions
  • Pro-environmental behaviours

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