Title of Paper

Thinking Counterfactually for Sustainable Tourism: Experimental Evidence for Improvement in Pro-environmental Intentions and Emotions

Presenter Bios

Semih Yilmaz, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism, California State University, East Bay. He is mainly interested in the experimental investigation of pro-environmental consumer behavior in tourism and hospitality settings.

Yong Jae Ko, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida. His research interests include sport consumers’ decision-making process, with a focus on socio-psychological variables such as personality, needs/motivation, and attachment.

Hany Kim, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management, Mount Saint Vincent University. Her research interests include travel marketing and behavior. She is currently focused on destination branding and cross-cultural issues in user-generated media.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the affective and behavioral implications of counterfactual thinking for tourism and hospitality consumers’ environmentally sustainable behavior. Despite the crucial role of travelers/guests in sustainable tourism, cognitive explanations of sustainable attitudes or behaviors are scarce. Moreover, the fact that research either focuses on specific segments or relies on survey data prevents strong causal inferences. Two experiments, two pilots and a pretest were conducted to investigate the functionality of counterfactual thinking – a cognitive process with behavioral improvement potential. True-experimental and factorial design with control groups allowed for strong causal inferences regarding the predictive role of counterfactuals for pro-environmental behavior. Results show counterfactuals do not only have significant emotional and intentional influences with respect to the environment, but through goal cognition, they can cause absolute improvement in behavioral intentions. Implications are discussed with respect to long-term effects of counterfactuals within communications that target sustainable behavior.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Thinking Counterfactually for Sustainable Tourism: Experimental Evidence for Improvement in Pro-environmental Intentions and Emotions

The purpose of this study was to test the affective and behavioral implications of counterfactual thinking for tourism and hospitality consumers’ environmentally sustainable behavior. Despite the crucial role of travelers/guests in sustainable tourism, cognitive explanations of sustainable attitudes or behaviors are scarce. Moreover, the fact that research either focuses on specific segments or relies on survey data prevents strong causal inferences. Two experiments, two pilots and a pretest were conducted to investigate the functionality of counterfactual thinking – a cognitive process with behavioral improvement potential. True-experimental and factorial design with control groups allowed for strong causal inferences regarding the predictive role of counterfactuals for pro-environmental behavior. Results show counterfactuals do not only have significant emotional and intentional influences with respect to the environment, but through goal cognition, they can cause absolute improvement in behavioral intentions. Implications are discussed with respect to long-term effects of counterfactuals within communications that target sustainable behavior.