Value-action gap

When a person's values do not correlate with their actions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short, summarize this topic like I'm... Ten years old or a College student

The value-action gap (also called the attitude-behavior gap, intention-behavior gap, KAP-gap (knowledge-attitudes-practice gap) or belief-behavior gap)[1][2][3] is the space that occurs when the values (personal and cultural) or attitudes of an individual do not correlate to their actions. More generally, it is the difference between what people say and what people do.[4] The phrase is associated with environmental geography, relating to attitudes and behaviors surrounding environmental issues. Numerous studies have reported an increase in global environmental concern, but have shown that environmental engagement is not adjusting in accordance.[5][6][7][8]

Debates surrounding the issue of the value-action gap have mainly taken place within environmental and social psychology and research is often based within cognitive theories of how attitudes are formed and how this affects individuals’ behavior.[4][9] Pro-environmental behavior is a term often used in the literature, which can be defined as behavior that consciously seeks to minimize the negative impact of one's actions on the natural and built world.[1] Research on the factors that influence behavior, however, have received far less attention than institutional actors such as governments and industries.[10]

The research suggests that there are many internal and external factors that affect behavior and the reasons behind consumer choices.[citation needed] Therefore, it can be difficult to identify the exact reasons for why this gap exists. When purchasing a product for example, many attributes are assessed by the purchaser in order to make their decision such as; price, quality, convenience, and brand familiarity.[11] These factors influence the reasons behind buying behavior and environmental considerations are often not taken into account, regardless of the attitudes people have regarding the environment.

Overcoming this gap is of particular importance for environmental policies as finding ways to overcome it should increase the effectiveness of these strategies. This would lead to a fundamental shift in behavior towards the environment and individuals’ use of natural resources, ensuring sustainable development and conservation of the environment. [citation needed] When considering the importance of individual behavior, it has been stated that national policies and major energy transformations often take decades to change locked-in infrastructure and institutions, but behavioral shifts have the potential to be more rapid and widespread.[12] Additionally, individual behavior ultimately drives societal change via adoption of lifestyle changes and technologies, and support for environmental policies.[10][13][14]