The relationship between identity and environmental concern: A meta-analysis

Xiaobin LOU, Liman Man Wai LI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Identity is suggested to have profound environmental implications. However, the magnitude of the relationship between identity and environmental concern varied considerably in previous studies. As the first meta-analysis study to systematically review this topic, we followed previous conceptual discussions to evaluate the relations between four types of identity and environmental concern, which was measured by the new environmental paradigm. Results showed that environmental identity (N = 15,884; r = 0.45), pro-environmental self-identity (N = 4695; r = 0.50), relationship self-expansion identity (N = 8144; r = 0.31), and egoistic identity (N = 13,228; r = −0.10) were all associated with environmental concern. Heterogeneity among the effect sizes was partly explained by societal collectivism-individualism, such that stronger relationships between identity and environmental concern were found in more collectivistic societies. These findings highlight the importance of differentiating the types of identity and acknowledging the powerful moderating role of cultural contexts in environmental research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101653
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2021


  • Environmental concern
  • New environmental paradigm
  • Identity
  • Environmental identity
  • Culture


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