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Step 3: Developing Strategies – Self-Perception Theory

From: Fostering Sustainable Behavior


Self-Perception Theory intriguingly suggests that if we can provide opportunities for people to engage in sustainable behaviors conveniently, the very act of engaging in those behaviors will shape their attitudes. We should look for occasions to provide people with the opportunity to engage in actions, that upon reflection, alter their beliefs. Furthermore, it is likely these beliefs will be most strongly held when the opportunity exists to engage in these actions frequently.


Doug McKenzie-Mohr

Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, an environmental psychologist, is the founder of community-based social marketing, and his best-selling book, Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, has become requisite reading for those who deliver programs to promote sustainable behavior. He has worked internationally with a diverse array of governmental and nongovernmental agencies, assisting them in identifying the barriers to behavior change and in developing and evaluating communitybased social marketing initiatives to overcome these barriers. He has served as an advisor for Canada’s public education efforts on climate change, as the coordinator of the international organization, Holis: The Society for a Sustainable Future, and as a member of Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. He is a former Professor of Psychology at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada where he co-coordinated the Environment and Society program. More than 50,000 program managers have attended workshops on community-based social marketing that he has delivered internationally.