Extrinsic value orientation and decreased sustainability of shared resources: The moderating role of situational characteristics

Geurim Han, Junghwa Kim, Sun W. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the present research, we investigated the roles of both personal values and situational characteristics in predicting environmentally irresponsible behavior using the tragedy of commons dilemma. Graduate or undergraduate students (n = 138) visited the laboratory as a group of four and completed measures of personal values and played a commons dilemma game online. Participants were led to believe that they were playing with the other three participants, but they were in fact playing with three bot players that were manipulated to use the shared resources either cooperatively or competitively. It was found that people who put more emphasis on extrinsic values (financial success, appealing appearance, and social recognition) relative to intrinsic values (personal growth, affiliation, and community contribution) consumed more shared resources than their counterparts. However, this link was significant only in the competitive condition, suggesting an interaction between personal and situational factors. Supplementary analyses indicate that financial success and community contribution are particularly important in predicting environmentally irresponsible behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2199
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A5A2A03068974), and OJeong Eco-Resilience Institute at Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Environmentally responsible behavior
  • Extrinsic values
  • Intrinsic values
  • Tragedy of commons dilemma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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