Environmental Art and Environmental Beliefs: the Case of Plastic Bag Pollution in Oceans

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


This paper reports the results of two experiments exploring the impact of exposure to environmental art on environmental beliefs, using images of plastic bag pollution in oceans. Even though the experimental design investigates only the immediate impact of a brief exposure to artistic images, the design controls well for other factors that might influence changes in environmental beliefs. This study is one of the few to directly estimate the effect of environmental art and it is the first to use elements of the New Ecological Paradigm in that context. Beyond the main research question of whether environmental art has effects on beliefs, the study also investigates whether expected behavior is affected, whether it is art or the information conveyed along with the art that matters, whether other factors influence the effect of exposure to the artwork, and what personal characteristics are associated with pro-environmental behaviors with respect to plastic bags as well as pro-environmental beliefs.