‘I feel and I know things’: Integrating climate anxiety and knowledge about climate change in explaining environmental behaviour

Research output: Contribution to conferencesPosterContributedpeer-review


Pro-environmental attitudes are not always reflected in behaviour, meaning that individuals supposedly fail to act on their beliefs, which is often referred to as the attitude-behaviour gap. Key to bridging this gap is understanding environmental behaviour and its antecedents and barriers. Knowledge about climate change as one antecedent is conceptualised as a necessity for environmental behaviour as it enables individuals to act on their beliefs effectively. However, in conceptualizing impactful precedents of environmental behaviour, affective states are so far neglected. This leads to the question of how climate change knowledge and anxiety relate to each other and to environmental behaviour.
The goal of this study is to integrate climate change anxiety and knowledge into the theory of planned behaviour in a two-step process of structural equation modelling. The first step is to identify a model specification with sufficient fit within a first sample. With this model we will then test the influence of anxiety and knowledge on environmental behaviour with a second holdout sample. Pilot data suggest that climate change anxiety might predict behaviour mediated by behavioural intentions while climate change knowledge might rather have a direct effect on the carbon footprint. This is to show both the interplay of knowledge and anxiety in regard of how environmental behaviour unfolds, as well as creating a broader theoretical view on said behaviour. Furthermore, we want to stress the methodological point of using outcome-oriented variables for measuring environmental behaviour.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2023


TitleInternational Conference on Environmental Psychology
Abbreviated titleICEP
Conference number
Duration20 - 24 June 2023
Degree of recognitionInternational event
LocationAarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-4408-6016/work/142234418
ORCID /0000-0002-9064-6408/work/142248858


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • Umweltpsychologie, Environmental Psychology, Umweltverhalten, Environmental Behavior, Environmental Psychology, Environmental Behaviour

Library keywords