This research project is concerned with investigating ‘catalyst behaviours’, which is the idea that taking-up a new behaviour (such as recycling) may cause people to start another, or many more, pro-environmental behaviours. These could be closely related behaviours or exist across a broader range of lifestyle activities.
Research was conducted in two phases in order to clarify the evidence. The work programme comprised an extensive literature review; followed by a small scale, pilot qualitative exercise to explore the links that the public makes between pro-environmental behaviours, the processes that drive these links (or categorisations), and how these processes may or may not relate to underlying psychological or sociological factors.
The project aims were to understand:
• Is there plausible evidence that catalyst based behaviour change occurs?
• If it does occur, how does the process or mechanism work, and does it only work for specific behaviours, specific groups of people, or under certain conditions?
• If the process occurs, how can it be stimulated?