Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialisation behaviours

Whitmarsh, Lorraine ORCID:, Capstick, Stuart ORCID: and Nash, Nicholas ORCID: 2017. Who is reducing their material consumption and why? A cross-cultural analysis of dematerialisation behaviours. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 375 (2095) , 20160376. 10.1098/rsta.2016.0376

[thumbnail of PTRSA Whitmarsh et al 2017 Postprint COMPLETE.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (706kB) | Preview


The environmental and economic imperatives to dematerialise economies, or ‘do more with less’, have been established for some years. Yet, to date little is known about the personal drivers associated with dematerialising. This paper explores the prevalence and profile of those who are taking action to reduce consumption in different cultural contexts (UK and Brazil) and considers influences on dematerialisation behaviours. We find exemplar behaviours (avoiding buying new things and avoiding packaging) are far less common than archetypal environmental behaviours (e.g., recycling), but also that cultural context is important (Brazilians are more likely to reduce their material consumption than people in the UK). We also find the two dematerialisation behaviours are associated with different pro-environmental actions (more radical action versus green consumption, respectively); and have distinct, but overlapping, psychological (e.g., identity) and socio-demographic (e.g., education) predictors. Comparing a more traditional valueidentity model of pro-environmental behaviour with a motivation-based (self-determination) model, we find the latter explains somewhat more variance than the former. However, overall little variance is explained, suggesting that additional factors at the personal and structural levels are important for determining these consumption behaviours. We conclude by outlining policy implications and avenues for further research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: dematerialisation, cross-cultural, behaviour, self-determination, identity, values
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 1364-503X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 February 2017
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 04:20

Citation Data

Cited 22 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics