The self-regulatory function of anticipated pride and guilt in a sustainable and healthy consumption context

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Although individuals generally value health and sustainability, they do not always behave in a manner that is consistent with their standards. The current study examines whether attitudes and social norms (i.e., descriptive and injunctive norms) can evoke anticipted pride and guilt, which, in turn, guide behavioural intentions. This self-regulatory function of anticipated pride and guilt is exajied int he theory of Planned Behaviours (TPB) extended with descriptive norms. Study 1 (N + 944) was a cross-sectional study in a sustainable (organic) behaviour context, and Study 2 (N = 990) was a study with a delayed outcome measure in a sustainable (fair trade) and a healthy (fruit consumption) behaviour context. We demonstrate that both negative and positive self-conscious emotions guide behaviour because they mediate the effects of both attitudes and social norms on intentions. Furthermore, the results show that the mediating effects of anticipated pride and guilt significantly improve the explanatory pwer of the extended TPB in all contexts; however, there are differences in the size of the effects, such that the mediating effect of emotions is larger in a sustainable compared to a healthy context. Theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • food-frequency questionnaire
  • planned behavior
  • social norms
  • conscious emotions
  • positive emotions
  • organic food
  • environmental behavior
  • additional predictor
  • climate-change
  • public-health

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