Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Oregon
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Champine, V. M., Jones, M. S., Lischka, S., Vaske, J. J., & Niemiec, R. M. (2022). Understanding individual and diffusion behaviors related to native plant gardening. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 101798.


While studies have examined factors influencing individual pro-environmental behavior, less research has examined the drivers of “diffusion behaviors” that disseminate new information via social networks. We conducted a survey of single-family households (n = 337) using an expanded Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction to investigate the social-psychological drivers of individual and diffusion behavioral intentions for native plant gardening. We also examined how intentions related to actual behavior and potential moderators of the intention-behavior relationship. We found that while individual behavior-specific knowledge and attitude predict both individual and diffusion intentions, behavior-specific personal norms and self-efficacy predicted diffusion intention, and behavior-specific personal norm influenced individual intention. Contrary to theory, diffusion intentions were influenced by a combination of behavior-specific and non-specific predictors. These results suggest that to motivate diffusion intention, outreach interventions may need to enhance diffusion-specific personal norm and self-efficacy beliefs, rather than just individual behavioral perceptions. Intentions predicted indicators of actual diffusion behavior, as measured through native plant voucher use by individuals and their friends and family. However, these indicators of behavior were not predicted directly by social-psychological variables. Diffusion-specific self-efficacy and subjective knowledge appear to moderate the relationship between diffusion intentions and successful diffusion behavior.