Ecosystems are under pressure due to global climate change. Empirical evidence showing how people can reduce their ecological footprint is needed. It has been shown that a consequence of the perception of climate change is an increase in ecologically responsible behavior, but little is known about the antecedents of this relationship. In two field studies, we examined whether an emotion-regulation strategy (i.e., cognitive reappraisal) predicted both climate change perception and pro-environmental behavior. Undergraduate students at two university campuses participated in Study 1 (n = 299). We found that individuals with a stronger tendency for habitual use of cognitive reappraisal showed both increased global climate change perception and a greater extent of pro-environmental behavior compared with individuals with a lower such tendency. As expected, our results also showed the mediating role of climate change perception in the relationship between people's habitual use of cognitive reappraisal and pro-environmental behavior. These findings were replicated in Study 2 (n = 81) with a non-student sample. Implications for future studies and environmental risk communication strategies are discussed.
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