The self-regulatory function of anticipated pride and guilt in a sustainable and healthy consumption context

Marleen C. Onwezen, Jos Bartels, Gerrit Antonides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although individuals generally value health and sustainability, they do not always behave in a manner that is consistent with their standards. The current study examines whether attitudes and social norms (i.e., descriptive and injunctive norms) can evoke anticipated pride and guilt, which, in turn, guide behavioural intentions. This self-regulatory function of anticipated pride and guilt is examined in the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) extended with descriptive norms. Study 1 (N = 944) was a cross-sectional study in a sustainable (organic) behaviour context, and Study 2 (N = 990) was a study with a delayed outcome measure in a sustainable (fair trade) and a healthy (fruit consumption) behaviour context. We demonstrate that both negative and positive self-conscious emotions guide behaviour because they mediate the effects of both attitudes and social norms on intentions. Furthermore, the results show that the mediating effects of anticipated pride and guilt significantly improve the explanatory power of the extended TPB in all contexts; however, there are differences in the size of the effects, such that the mediating effect of emotions is larger in a sustainable compared to a healthy context. Theoretical implications of our findings are discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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