Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Laura Mahon

The aim of this project was to identify new factors affecting the values and behaviours relating to the environment, and ultimately their environmental engagement. This study examined differences in individuals’ values and behaviours based on their social media usage and personality type (agreeableness and conscientiousness). This information will be useful for campaigners and organisations in identifying effective ways to promote pro-environmental behaviours (PEB).

Factors of environmental engagement (EE) have become extremely valuable in disseminating information about the environment to the general public. Environmental Engagement (EE) may be defined as the level of one’s awareness, concerns and actions towards the environment (van der Linden, Maibach, and Leiserowitz, 2015). The values and behaviours of individuals concerning the environment act as accurate indicators of EE (Corraliza and Berenguer, 2000).

The present study sought to investigate the possible effects of agreeableness, conscientiousness and social media usage on individual’s environmental engagement through an online survey. This study also examined the relationship between environmental values and behaviours (environmental engagement overall). Data collected from participants (n=158) was analysed using multiple 3-Way ANOVA’s and a Pearson’s Correlation. A significant difference was identified for the main effect of agreeableness on both environmental values (F(1, 149) = 6.96, p = .009) and behaviours (F(1, 149) =4.729, p =.031) such that more agreeable participants had higher mean values of 31.1 (V) and 51.3 (B). Further, a significant relationship was detected between environmental values and environmental behaviours (r(158)=0.43, p
The results indicate that increasing environmental values may increase individuals’ environmental behaviours. This result may have implications for promoting pro-environmental behaviours. While the present study returned a non-significant result looking at social media usage as a main effect, further research should explore social media content’s impact on environmental awareness. The results contribute to the ever-growing body of research looking at environmental engagement while identifying one’s level of agreeableness as an individual indicator of environmental engagement.