Unit 6 Introduction

Use information about your target audience to guide selection of a target behavior


Background for Unit 6:

Changing Public Behavior Web site. Basics: Potential environmentally significant behaviors

Changing Public Behavior Self Study Modules, Step 5. Assess potential for adoption of single behaviors and the environmental practice.

Changing Public Behavior Self Study Modules, Step 6. Select recommended behavior(s).

Educating about Behavior and the Environment planning tool PDF, pages 1 and 2, and also available as a doc file, here.

7-Step Process in Practice: a Case Study example, Arkansas case study.


In Units 3, 4 and 5, you referred to the Educating about Behavior and the Environment planning tool as you considered the environmental situation you want to address.

For your environmental situation, you:

  • Identified a potential target audience
  • Identified actions that people take that could make a difference
  • Identified preferred behaviors
  • Gathered audience information related to each preferred behavior.

In Unit 6, you will study and practice Step #5 of the Educating about Behavior and the Environment planning tool as you:

  • Rate each preferred behavior for its potential acceptability by the audience
  • Select the most acceptable behavior(s) for promotion through outreach or education initiatives


In Lesson 6.1 you will learn how to rate the behaviors you have selected as preferred behaviors.

At the end of Unit 6, you will apply what you’ve learned to your own environmental situation. Once you have selected your target behaviors, move on to Unit 7 where you will identify potential outreach techniques most likely to be effective in conveying your selected target behavior.

Other resources of interest:

Aizen, I. (1985). From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In J. Kuhl & J. Beckman (Eds.), Action-control: From cognition to behavior (pp. 11- 39). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

Booth, E. M. (1996). Starting with behavior: A participatory process for selecting target behaviors in environmental programs. Washington, DC: GreenCOM, Academy for Educational Development.

De Young, R. (1993). Changing behavior and making it stick: The conceptualization and management of conservation behavior. Environment and Behavior, 25(4), 485-505.

Fishbein, M. & Cappella, J. N. (2006).The Role of Theory in Developing Effective Health Communications. Journal of Communication 56 (2006): S1–17.

Fogarty, E., Huston, J., Maskin, R., Van Belleghem, B., & Vang, S. (2007). Phosphorus free for Lake Ripley. Community-based social marketing program to use phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Urban and Regional Planning.

Gardner, G. T., & Stern, P. C. (1996). Environmental problems and human behavior (p. 159). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

McKenzie-Mohr, D. (1995). Promoting a sustainable future: An introduction to community-based social marketing. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Stern, P. C. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), pp. 407-424.

Weber, E. U. (2013). Doing the right thing willingly: Using the insights of behavioral decision research for better environmental decisions. Chapter 22 (pages 380-397) in The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy, edited by E. Shafir. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2016, 10:37 AM