Cross-context behavioural spillover and sustainable tourism in Wales

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Psychology

Abstract

Public awareness and concern about environmental issues is high, but does not often translate into environmentally-friendly behaviours. Adoption of these behaviours while on holiday or leisure day-trips is lower than within the home. This
inconsistency in pro-environmental behaviour is evident across various behaviours and contexts. Recent work has explored the potential for developing interventions which can spillover from one context to another (e.g. home to work) and ultimately produce more consistent and ambitious lifestyle change than has been achieved to date with more piecemeal and context-specific interventions. One particularly promising focus for producing spillover to be tested in the current project is to target Welsh identity. This is based on our previous work, in which we found that Welsh natural landscape is a core component of Welsh national identity. The project will explore two case studies: dog management and waste behaviours. Dog walkers account for a significant proportion of visitors to the National Park, but there is increasing conflict between dog walkers and wardens (as well as graziers) over sheep worrying, fouling, and damage to bird nesting sites. Littering and low recycling rates are also a persistent problem for Park Authorities. These behaviours are selected because they are of high priority to Brecon Beacons NPA (so of greatest impact potential) and local communities (e.g., reflected in town/village plans), and are also tangible and relatively amenable to change (unlike, e.g., travel behaviours, which are more structurally constrained in rural areas). The project will apply a mixed-methods approach, comprising the following stages: Depth on-site interviews with visitors and local stakeholders (e.g. graziers, wardens) to explore beliefs, motivations and barriers in respect of behaviour change; Intervention design incorporating desk research
identifying core theoretical principles and effective techniques, and using past visitor surveys) and visitor/stakeholder interview findings; Field experiment with Brecon Beacons National Park visitors to test behaviour change interventions, comparing experimental (e.g. Welsh identity, green identity, fine avoidance) and control groups. This will also explore whether changes to targeted behaviours (waste, dog management) endure beyond the park visit to their home context (i.e. cross-context spillover). This studentship, known as a 'collaborative studentship', involves co-supervision from the School of Psychology and a non-academic organisation (Brecon Beacons National Park Authority). The project will involve regular meetings with both supervisors and visits to study sites in the BBNPA

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1942240 Studentship ES/P00069X/1 01/10/2017 26/03/2021 Conor John