The intention – behavior gap

Many studies have shown that today, the majority of the population is aware of climate change and other environmental problems related to planetary boundaries and many want to change, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Many theories in social psychology have posited the following sequence of personal processes that lead to positive behaviour, either pro-social or pro-environmental.

The assumption of most of these theories is based on the construction or reinforcement of positive values, which in turn become personal norms that determine our attitude towards a situation or problem.
This attitude drives us towards the intention to change a behaviour or practice; however, in this last step, we encounter the intention-behavior gap.

What is needed to overcome the intention-behavior gap?

First of all, we need to get a better understanding about the personal behavior change drivers.

In addition, it is important to know what hinders us to move forward towards action. For that, we will know the 7 dragons of inaction identified by the social psychologist Robert Gifford (2011) and further developed by Katharina van Bronswijk, Jan-Ole Komm & Ingo Zoberl (August 2021).