New publication of Oriane Sarrasin, Cinzia Zanetti, Ocyna Rudmann, Robert A. T. Avery (UNIL, Laboratoire de psychlogie sociale) & Aurélien Graton (UNI Grenoble)
The present study examined whether prosocial reasons to comply with anti-COVID measures were related to pro-environmental behaviours (PEB), as both have in common that they were/are mostly performed to help others. We investigated two mediating psychological mechanisms: perceived interdependencies between the self and others, and reduced climate change psychological distance. Latent class analyses applied to data from an online study conducted in France, Switzerland, the UK, and Spain (Ntot = 967) revealed five different ‘environmental’ profiles. Path models showed that prosocial reasons for complying with anti-COVID measures were related to the most congruent profiles (the ‘strongly committed’, frequent PEB/strong pro-environmental intentions, and the ‘strongly disengaged’, infrequent PEB/low intentions) through a reduced vs. heightened psychological distance of climate change. Prosocial reasons were not related to the three other profiles. However, a reduced vs. heightened psychological distance between COVID-19 and the self was related to perceived interdependencies, which were then related to the two most incongruent profiles: the ‘well-meaning’ and the ‘committed to private PEB’. We discuss these results to the extent that they inform on (a) the relevance of using a profile-approach, (b) the way to measure the psychological distance of different global crises, and (c) the relevance of pursuing research on perceived interdependencies as predictors of PEB.