Sustainable Development: The Effects of Social Normative Beliefs On Environmental Behaviour

Edward Shih Tse Wang, Hung Chou Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable development has become a global concern because of problems of environmental pollution, energy consumption and climate change. Sustainable development requires that individuals from all sectors contribute to protecting the environment. Although numerous studies have investigated the relationship between social normative beliefs and environmental behaviour, the results of these studies have varied. Scant attention has been devoted to clarifying the mechanism underlying the influence of social normative beliefs on environmental behaviour by testing mediators. The present study explored the mediating effect of environmental perceptions on the relationship between social normative beliefs and environmental behaviour. A convenience sampling method was employed to establish a sample consisting of 453 young adults aged 18–30 years. Structural equation modelling was employed for data analyses. Results revealed that environmental perceptions (perceived effectiveness and environmental responsibility) completely mediate the relationship between social normative beliefs (descriptive normative beliefs and injunctive normative beliefs) and environmental behaviour. This finding suggests that environmental practitioners might develop effective programs that motivate individuals to engage in environmental behaviour to achieve sustainable development from the social influence perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-609
Number of pages15
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes



  • environmental behaviour
  • normative beliefs
  • perceived effectiveness
  • perceived environmental responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development

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