Personal response efficacy beliefs are vital in instigating, maintaining, and catalyzing environmental behavior change. In this experimental study (N = 249), we investigated whether such efficacy beliefs could be stimulated using Virtual Reality. In a VR-supermarket, participants would see interactive pop-ups displaying impact messages when they picked up products, these are messages that display the (environmental or health) impact of a product. Our results show that these impact messages are effective in stimulating personal response efficacy beliefs and subsequently pro-environmental food choices. The heightened personal response efficacy beliefs positively affected maintaining and catalyzing behavior change (i.e. positive spill-over) up to two weeks after the VR-experience. The effectiveness of the impact messages did not depend on appeal type (health vs environmental appeal) or modality (text + visual vs text only) of the message. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
- behavior change
- Virtual reality