Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring why individuals acquire the motivation to mitigate climate change
Author: Lampkin, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1441
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Human motivation is a complex and multi-faceted aspect of individual behaviour. In the context of climate change, people can be motivated to change their lifestyles markedly to protect the planet and its resources, or seem not to care, or worry, how they impact on the planet; the reasons behind this difference are poorly understood. This study explores the internalised motivation to mitigate climate change, based on a sample of adults who perceive that they are highly motivated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. An internal nature to a motivation produces long-term behavioural change that is not reliant on external incentives, and provides a greater satisfaction for an individual. The external rewards for taking action in the climate context are slow coming and intangible so the internal nature, backed by external coercion, is critical in responding to climate change. The three key aims of the research are to identify the common characteristics of individuals with an internalised motivation, the defining characteristics that predispose individuals to have a substantial internal nature and the contributors to the development of internalised motivation. The research is based on grounded theory, with the direction for each stage evolving from the results of the preceding stage. A complementary combination of exploratory and non-exploratory approaches and quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques is used. The research draws on previous work on models of motivation, notably from the fields of sociology and psychology. The findings confirm the validity of aspects of these models, although the particular characteristics of the climate issue do result in a shift of emphasis. It is found that there are five defining characteristics of individuals who have internalised motivation. These defining characteristics are three ethics, a sense of value, a sense of responsibility, a sense of belonging, and two capacities, an ability to make connections and an ability to self-reflect on behaviour. A sense of value, especially self-value, is the underlying contributor of internalised motivation and the other four defining characteristics are driven primarily by a feeling of competence, a strong family background, knowledge regarding the climate issue and setting local and tangible goals to improve behaviour, respectively. The ability to connect with nature in a sensual manner when visiting particular places in the natural environment is unique to individuals who have internalised motivation. The return, which is invariably the drive for human motivation, is not found to be fundamental in this climate context. It is based on achieving short-term and local changes, and lessens in importance once internalisation starts to take place. From a policy viewpoint, developing a high level of motivation to reduce emissions in a broader range of individuals requires encouraging, regular and sensual contact with nature, nurturing the belief that individuals make a difference and, last but not least, reasserting a values stance in society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available