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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Jacqueline Geaney

The Attitude-Behavior Disconnect

Jacqueline Geaney

The Attitude-Behavior Disconnect: Identifying Factors that Moderate Behavior in BC’s Environmental Movement examines how attitudes of environmental concern affect the behavior of students on the BC campus.  Conventional wisdom suggests that attitude would determine behavior, but past studies have been unable to find a connection between environmental attitude and behavior.  This suggests that there are other factors at play, in addition to environmental concern.  Using survey and in-depth interview data, this study focuses on the influence of the following factors:  monetary cost, convenience, habit and visibility of consequences.  The findings suggest that attitude itself does influence environmental behavior, but that the aforementioned factors play an important role in either increasing or decreasing the rate of behavior.  I conclude by suggesting that the impact of cost as a barrier to behavior speaks to the importance of structural change in order to increase the rate of green behavior.

Jacqueline Geaney graduated from Boston College in 2010 with a major in Sociology and minors in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies. As an undergraduate she served in Ecopledge and interned in BC’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Management. She is proud to have co-founded the first satirical paper on campus, the New England Classic. After graduation, Jacqueline travelled through Southeast Asia and worked for twelve months as an English teacher in South Korea. She is currently pursuing an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University.