Decision and justification in the social dilemma of recycling.I. A two-stage model of rational choice and cognitive dissonance reduction

Kunihiro Kimura, Mikiko Shinoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diekmann and Preisendörfer (1998) showed that there exist substantial inconsistencies between individuals' environmental attitudes and their behaviors. They also identified three cognitive strategies that help individuals to harmonize and reconcile these seemingly incongruent behaviors and attitudes. However, they did not specify sufficiently the generative mechanism or process that leads individuals to these cognitive strategies, and their empirical analyses of social survey data are inadequate for testing their theoretical arguments. In this paper, first, we develop Diekmann and Preisendörfer's (1998) idea further and construct a two-stage model of decision-making and justification in a potential "social dilemma" situation, focusing on the problem of recycling. The model that we propose here is a coupling of the idea of rational choice and that of cognitive dissonance reduction. We deduce several propositions from our model and translate some of them into falsifiable or empirically testable predictions, which include those on the "false consensus effect," the association between perceived "efficacy" and environmental behaviors, and the association between normative consciousness and the behaviors. The next step for us is to analyze social survey data in order to examine whether these predictions are supported or not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-48
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Volume22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Efficacy
  • False consensus effect
  • Pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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