Professor in Evolutionary Psychology, Work and Organizational Psychology



Who cares about the environmental impact of cars (2004)

Joireman, J. A., van Lange, P. A. M., & van Vugt, M. (2004). Who cares about the environmental impact of cars? Those with an eye toward the future.  Environment & Behavior, 35, 1-20. 


This study examined preference for commuting to work by car or public transportation (PT) within an expanded social dilemma framework (i.e., one that recognizes the importance of both social and temporal concerns). Commuters completed scales assessing commuting preferences, beliefs regarding the environmental impact of cars, social value orientation (SVO), and the consideration of future consequences (CFC). Preference for PT was higher among commuters who believed that commuting by car harms the environment and among those scoring high in CFC. Most important, a significant two-way interaction revealed that preference for commuting by PT was positively related to beliefs regarding the harmful environmental consequences of commuting by car only among those high in CFC. SVO was unrelated to commuting preferences. In sum, a future orientation may be more important than a prosocial orientation in shaping commuting preferences.

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