Edinburgh Research Explorer

Big Five and HEXACO Personality Traits, pro-environmental attitudes, and behaviors: A meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions



  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Final published version, 284 KB, PDF document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC)

Original languageEnglish
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Early online date8 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 May 2020


With climate change and its consequences believed to be among the most vital challenges for humanity and the Earth’s ecosystem, it is important to understand why individuals (do not) adopt pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors. Personality traits are well suited for this purpose. Because no recent work has systematically combined the accumulating evidence on this topic, we aimed to meta-analyze the associations of the Big Five and HEXACO personality domains with pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors. Meta-analysis of 38 sources (N = 44,993) implicated Openness and Honesty-Humility as the strongest correlates of pro-environmental attitudes (r = .22 and .20) and behaviors (r = .21 and .25). Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and to a lesser extent Extraversion, were also associated with pro-environmental attitudes (r = .15, .12, and .09) and behaviors (r = .10, .11, and .10). Heterogeneity among effect sizes was partly explained by samples’ gender ratio, age, and country of origin, and by personality model. P-curve analysis, funnel plots, and Egger’s tests indicated significant, but sporadic and small publication bias. As a validity test, the meta-analytic associations collectively provided substantial predictive accuracy for pro-environmental attitudes (r = .44 to .45) and behaviors (r = .28 to .43) in independent hold-out samples.

    Research areas

  • Big Five, HEXACO, environment, attitude, behavior

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 128881238