Special Issue "Well-Being and Happiness for Harmonization of Natural and Cultural Resources: Cross-Cultural Pillars of Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Annamaria Di Fabio
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education, Languages, Intercultures, Literatures and Psychology (Psychology Section), University of Florence, 50135 Florence, Italy
Interests: psychology of sustainability and sustainable development; cross-cultural positive psychology; prevention; work and organizational psychology; healthy organizations; talents; positive career outcomes; career decision-making; workplace relational civility; decent work; positive relational-management; intrapreneurial self-capital; entrepreneurship in a primary prevention perspective (at different stages); acceptance of change; project reflexivity; career counseling; guidance; resiliency; emotional intelligence; personality and individual differences
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Akira Tsuda
Website
Guest Editor
Full Professor of Health Psychology, Kurume University, Japan
Interests: indigenous and cultural psychological aspects of stress; health and well-being from the point of view of a biopsychosocial approach; development of stress biomarkers that contribute to examine the underlying mechanism of stress–coping–ill-health outcome processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Among the seventeen goals for Sustainability and Sustainable Development (United Nations, 2018), well-being and happiness refer to the third goal (good health and well-being, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages). The comprehension of well-being in the scientific literature shows an articulation in hedonic and eudemonic approaches. Hedonic well-being essentially considers well-being as pleasure achievement and pain avoidance (Watson, Clark, and Tellegen, 1988), comprising both an affective component in terms of positive affect and negative affect (Watson et al., 1988) and a cognitive component of evaluation as life satisfaction in terms of a global cognitive judgment about own life (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin, 1985). Eudemonic well-being regards meaning, flourishing, and self-realization and optimal functioning (Ryan and Deci, 2001; Waterman et al., 2010), focusing on building resources and strengths (Di Fabio and Saklofske, 2014; Di Fabio and Kenny, 2012, 2016; Di Fabio and Peiró, 2018; Henao-Zapata and Peiró, 2018; Tetrick and Peiró, 2012).

In this framework, Psychology of Harmonization (Di Fabio and Tsuda, 2018) represents a new theoretical point of reference for a new approach in the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development (Di Fabio and Rosen, 2018). Psychology of Harmonization (Di Fabio and Tsuda, 2018) considers both geographical and temporal perspectives, including meaningful construction processes from the past, to the present, towards the future, using reflexivity processes at the individual, group, intergroup, social, community, organization, interorganization, national, and cross-national levels. Psychology of Harmonization also underlines the value of taking care of a harmonic recomposition on many levels of internal and external complexity, both temporally and geographically. For this reason, Psychology of Harmonization offers a promising framework for research and intervention, to identify and foster new strengths from the point of view of a preventive perspective, promoting health and well-being with the natural environment and in different environments. Well-being and happiness for harmonization of natural and cultural resources represent cross-cultural challenges in this new perspective. Psychology of Harmonization (Di Fabio and Tsuda, 2018) is embedded in the new research area of Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable development (Di Fabio, 2017a, 2017b; Di Fabio and Rosen, 2018) in the transdisciplinary field of Sustainability Science.

Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development (Di Fabio and Rosen, 2018) is aimed at opening the black box of psychological processes, focusing on psychological processes and enlarging the concept of sustainability and sustainable development. Psychology of Harmonization fits into this area as a new pillar aiming to improve harmonization with/in the natural environment as well as the other environments: Personal environment, social environment, organizational environment, interorganizational environment, etc. all the way to globalized environment and virtual environment.

Psychology of Harmonization (Di Fabio and Tsuda, 2018) asks for a prevention perspective for harmonization of natural and cultural resources. In particular, this framework stresses the value of the primary prevention perspective (Caplan, 1964; Hage et al., 2007), focused on both avoiding the emergence of a problem before it begins and on promoting well-being at every level and in every environment, also taking on the complex perspective of the psychological variables involved. The preventive perspective is more effective when efforts to decrease risks are combined with efforts to increase resources, centering on building strengths of individuals and environments.

This Special Issue is focused on the innovative contribution that Psychology of Harmonization can add to the theme of sustainability and sustainable development, concentrating on well-being and happiness for harmonization of natural and cultural resources in a cross-cultural perspective. The aim of this Special Issue is then to offer a framework for research articles interested to explore the topic of Psychology of Harmonization for well-being and happiness of people and environments as cross-cultural pillars in the construction of Sustainability and Sustainable development.

Prof. Dr. Annamaria Di Fabio
Prof. Dr. Akira Tsuda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • psychology of harmonization
  • well-being and happiness for harmonization
  • hedonic well-being
  • eudemonic well-being
  • happiness
  • cross-cultural psychology of harmonization
  • psychology of sustainability
  • psychology of sustainable development
  • cross-cultural psychology of sustainability and sustainable development

Published Papers (26 papers)

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Open AccessCommunication
Subjective Happiness Is Associated with Objectively Evaluated Sleep Efficiency and Heart Rate during Sleep: An Exploratory Study Using Non-Contact Sheet Sensors
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4630; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114630 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between subjective happiness and subjective and objective sleep. The participants were 24 healthy university students (11 males, 13 females; mean age 22.4 ± 2.1). Their subjective happiness was measured by the Japanese Subjective [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between subjective happiness and subjective and objective sleep. The participants were 24 healthy university students (11 males, 13 females; mean age 22.4 ± 2.1). Their subjective happiness was measured by the Japanese Subjective Happiness Scale (JSHS). Furthermore, their subjective and objective sleep evaluation was measured by Ogri-Shirakawa-Azumi sleep inventory MA version (OSA-MA) and a non-contact sheet sensor (SS). The results indicated that participants with higher subjective happiness had objectively shorter sleep onset latency, higher sleep efficiency, and lower heart rate during sleep. On the other hand, no such correlations were found between subjective sleep evaluation with OSA and subjective happiness. These results suggest that subjective happiness is related with the ability to more easily fall asleep and better sleep efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Personal Growth and Psychobiological Stress Responsiveness to the Trier Social Stress Test in Students
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114497 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
The current study aimed to examine the effects of personal growth (PG) on psychobiological responses at baseline and responsiveness to laboratory acute stress in students. Twenty-four healthy students were recruited as participants. Participants were screened from 203 candidates according to levels of PG [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to examine the effects of personal growth (PG) on psychobiological responses at baseline and responsiveness to laboratory acute stress in students. Twenty-four healthy students were recruited as participants. Participants were screened from 203 candidates according to levels of PG using Ryff’s scale and classified into high and low PG groups. During the laboratory session, 13 high and 11 low PG participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test. Heart rate and high-frequency (HF) heart rate variability were monitored throughout the experiment. Salivary free-3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol (MHPG) and perceived stress were measured at baseline, immediately after tasks and after a recovery period. Baseline and recovery perceived stress (tense arousal) were significantly lower in the high PG group compared with the low PG group. Free-MHPG and HF component returned to baseline levels during recovery significantly more rapidly in the high PG group compared with the low PG group. There were no significant group differences in heart rate. The results showed that high PG students have lower noradrenaline and higher parasympathetic nervous system activity before and after acute stress. These findings suggest a protective psychobiological pathway linking PG with better psychosomatic health in students. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Local Perceptions of Fires Risk and Policy Implications in the Hills of Valparaíso, Chile
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4298; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104298 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Climate change is increasing the occurrence of natural disasters worldwide, and more frequent and intense fires represent one of the most destructive expressions of this trend. Chile is highly vulnerable to climate change, and fires are a recurrent phenomenon affecting many people each [...] Read more.
Climate change is increasing the occurrence of natural disasters worldwide, and more frequent and intense fires represent one of the most destructive expressions of this trend. Chile is highly vulnerable to climate change, and fires are a recurrent phenomenon affecting many people each year. To reduce fire risk, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests reducing both exposure and vulnerability through multiple initiatives, which demand increased community engagement. In such a context, this study explores local perceptions of fire in a sample of inhabitants in a wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Valparaiso, a city that is affected by numerous fires each year. The ultimate goal was to identify psychological and community factors that should be taken into consideration to develop prevention plans and safer environments for people living in a context of poverty and social inequity. Using a qualitative approach, 28 interviews were conducted and analyzed following grounded theory principles. Results identified multiple causes, impacts, and characteristics of the problem perceived by people who permanently cohabit with fire risk, showing that for many of them, fire risk is not about the probability of occurrence of a disaster, but a question about when and how the next fire will happen. However, in such a complex scenario, psychological, community, and structural barriers deter people from implementing more effective actions. Conversely, in emergency situations, such barriers are irrelevant and cooperative actions prevail, suggesting the existence of resources and capacities within the community that could lessen exposure and vulnerability if activated on a day-to-day basis. Overall, reducing fire risk cannot be achieved by local communities alone nor without their support. To build, maintain, and consolidate fire prevention actions, it is critical to activate community strengths and cooperation and engage the resources and management capacity of local governments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nature-Related Cognitive Schemas and Self-Reported Psychological Flourishing
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104215 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Some sustainability-related belief systems (or schemas in Cognitive Behavior Therapy) might result in shame, guilt, or denial if a person fails to meet the standards. The psychology of Harmonization relates sustainability to flourishing but not to human misery and delineates flourishing one’s own [...] Read more.
Some sustainability-related belief systems (or schemas in Cognitive Behavior Therapy) might result in shame, guilt, or denial if a person fails to meet the standards. The psychology of Harmonization relates sustainability to flourishing but not to human misery and delineates flourishing one’s own life. What nature-related cognitive schemas coexist with psychological flourishing? The purpose of this study was to identify the nature-related cognitive schemas that correlate to self-reported psychological flourishing. This paper provides some data on an overall survey (n = 722) that aimed at evaluating the cognitive schemas, strengths, and cognitive abilities of Lithuanian gymnasium students. We applied the Flourishing Scale (FS) of E. Diener alongside several measures to investigate nature-related cognitive/emotional/behavioral variables. The results revealed associations between different nature-related cognitive schemas (experiential, consumeristic, eco-protectionist, and valorist) and psychological flourishing, positive emotional reactions to nature, and spending time in nature. As this study demonstrates only positive or negative relationships among the examined variables, one of the implications for future research is identifying schemas as predictors of behavioral sustainability and creating an experimental or longitudinal design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fear of Non-Employability and of Economic Crisis Increase Workplace Harassment through Lower Organizational Welfare Orientation
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3876; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093876 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that economic crisis is a preeminent stressor (i.e., economic stress) that may worsen working conditions and expose individuals to negative acts at work (i.e., workplace bullying). Following an occupational health perspective that considers contextual factors [...] Read more.
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that economic crisis is a preeminent stressor (i.e., economic stress) that may worsen working conditions and expose individuals to negative acts at work (i.e., workplace bullying). Following an occupational health perspective that considers contextual factors as risk factors for workplace bullying, this study aims to examine the mediation effects of organizational orientation to employee welfare in the economic stress-workplace bullying relationship. A cross-sectional study with the participation of 1004 Italian workers from several organizations was conducted. Our results indicate that economic stress (composed of two dimensions: fear of the economic crisis and perceived non-employability) is associated with workplace bullying through the total mediation of organizational orientation to employee welfare. These results have relevant implications for psychosocial risk assessment in turbulent times. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Validation of a Spanish Short Servant Leadership Survey (SSLS6-3F) among Spanish Workers in Religious Non-Profit Organizations
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3766; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093766 - 06 May 2020
Abstract
Religious non-profit organizations are becoming increasingly important in the third sector in a wide range of countries, where they are currently leading players in different areas, such as education, healthcare, and social work. These organizations have the peculiarity of providing a service to [...] Read more.
Religious non-profit organizations are becoming increasingly important in the third sector in a wide range of countries, where they are currently leading players in different areas, such as education, healthcare, and social work. These organizations have the peculiarity of providing a service to their users while transmitting them the values of their mission statement. An usually employed and effective management strategy for these institutions is a servant leadership style. This article seeks to introduce a theoretical discussion of this leadership approach by providing a Spanish version of an instrument for measuring servant leadership in Spanish religious non-profit institutions. To this end, workers of different Spanish faith-based non-profit organizations of the third sector, a relatively unexplored context, were analyzed after obtaining 463 valid questionnaires. This study used the Spanish translation of a seven-item and three-factor servant leadership scale. An exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was performed. The results confirm that the six-item and three-factor servant leadership scale was the most effective scale to measure this construct. In conclusion, this research covers a notable research gap by providing a reliable and valid Spanish short version of the servant leadership scale for workers of Spanish religious non-profit organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Promoting Career Counselors’ Sustainable Career Development through the Group-based Life Construction Dialogue Intervention: “Constructing My Future Purposeful Life”
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093645 - 01 May 2020
Abstract
Continuous professional development refers to maintaining, enhancing, and broadening individuals’ knowledge, skills, and the personal qualities required in their professional lives. The present experimental study attempts to explore the way(s) that the Life Construction intervention: “Constructing my Future Purposeful Life” contributes to career [...] Read more.
Continuous professional development refers to maintaining, enhancing, and broadening individuals’ knowledge, skills, and the personal qualities required in their professional lives. The present experimental study attempts to explore the way(s) that the Life Construction intervention: “Constructing my Future Purposeful Life” contributes to career counselors’ sustainable career development. Two groups of career counselors participating in a training program delivered by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens were involved, namely, an experimental group (N = 33) that received the intervention and a control group (N = 27) that did not receive any intervention. The effectiveness of the intervention was verified through qualitative and quantitative analysis, including the calculation of effect sizes, of the data obtained through the Future Career Autobiography, and the Greek version of the Life Project Reflexivity Scale. The results indicate that the Life Construction Intervention improved career counselors’ reflexivity and self-awareness, while, concurrently, the need for practical training in contemporary interventions to support their sustainable career development is highlighted. The main conclusion refers to the fact that the career counselor needs to construct his or her own Self as a sustainable project beforehand, in order to be able to support individuals in their own Self construction and promote their well-being. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Dark and the Light Side of the Expatriate’s Cross-Cultural Adjustment: A Novel Framework Including Perceived Organizational Support, Work Related Stress and Innovation
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2969; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072969 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The new context of the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development has reached the attention of the scientific community in recent years, due to its comprehensive approach aimed at enhancing the sustainability of interpersonal and intrapersonal talent, as well as of groups and [...] Read more.
The new context of the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development has reached the attention of the scientific community in recent years, due to its comprehensive approach aimed at enhancing the sustainability of interpersonal and intrapersonal talent, as well as of groups and communities. In this scenario, research on employee cross-cultural adjustment (CCA) is considered a key theme in human resource management. It is known that psychological support in the host country may alleviate distress and facilitate the integration of the expatriate workers. However, there is a lack of research investigating expatriate adjustment as an antecedent of the perceived organizational support. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship among cross-cultural adjustment (CCA), perception of organizational support (POS), work-related stress (WRS), and innovation, considering these factors as a part of a unique innovative framework. A cross sectional study was performed using a sample of 234 expatriate workers of a multinational organization. Data were collected through a monitoring survey for the assessment of work-related stress risk factors of their expatriate staff. The results showed a positive correlation between CCA, POS, and innovation. On the other hand, a negative correlational effect of CCA and WRS, CCA and POS on WRS, and POS and WRS was found. Finally, POS was found to be a significant antecedent of CCA. These findings have implications for both international human resource management researchers and practitioners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Knowledge Characteristics’ Fit and Job Satisfaction and Job Performance: The Mediating Role of Work Engagement
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062336 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Knowledge workers are highly valued by organizations, but there is a lack of evidence about the role of work engagement in the satisfaction and performance of these workers. Harmonization and Person–Job Fit theory state that workers who have similar characteristics to those present [...] Read more.
Knowledge workers are highly valued by organizations, but there is a lack of evidence about the role of work engagement in the satisfaction and performance of these workers. Harmonization and Person–Job Fit theory state that workers who have similar characteristics to those present in the context (i.e., give similar importance to the characteristics present in the context) perform better. The aim of this paper is twofold: to test the congruence effect between five knowledge characteristics and their rated influence on job satisfaction and job performance; and test the mediational role of work engagement between the knowledge characteristics’ fit and job performance. Using a time-lagged design, 531 Colombian employees from 20 economic sectors answered questionnaires about work engagement (i.e., UWES-9), knowledge characteristics (i.e., WDQ), importance given to knowledge characteristics, job satisfaction, and job performance. Using polynomial regression, surface response methodology, and ordinary least squares path analyses, we found a congruence effect of the relationship between knowledge characteristics and their levels of importance on job performance in four out of five comparisons (i.e., job complexity, information processing, problem solving, and specialization). In addition, we found that knowledge characteristics’ fit indirectly influenced job satisfaction and performance through its effect on work engagement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Birds of a Feather Fare Less Well Together: Modeling Predictors of International Student Adaptation
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062317 - 16 Mar 2020
Abstract
Sociocultural adaptation to the host country is an important corollary to the psychological well-being of international students. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test a model of sociocultural adaptation and psychological wellbeing. International students in Ankara, Turkey (N = 161, mean [...] Read more.
Sociocultural adaptation to the host country is an important corollary to the psychological well-being of international students. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test a model of sociocultural adaptation and psychological wellbeing. International students in Ankara, Turkey (N = 161, mean age = 22.35) completed online surveys. Consistent with our hypotheses, interpersonal connections with host nationals predicted greater sociocultural adaptation (β = 0.250, p = 0.001) and interpersonal connections with co-nationals resulted in poorer psychological adjustment (β = −0.171, p = 0.025). Host-country language proficiency led to better sociocultural adaptation (β = 0.262, p < 0.001), and perceptions of greater cultural distance had a negative impact on both psychological (β = 0.314, p < 0.001) and sociocultural adaptation (β = 0.328, p < 0.001). Thus, students who were able to engage in relations with host-country nationals fared better. Our results provide insight for sending and receiving institutions regarding the preparation (e.g., exploring cognitive frames for immersion, language skills, reviewing coping strategies) and supportive services (e.g., connection with host country nationals) that will facilitate the adjustment of international students. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathways between Ability Emotional Intelligence and Subjective Well-Being: Bridging Links through Cognitive Emotion Regulation Strategies
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2111; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052111 - 09 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Based on a primary prevention perspective, the main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between ability emotional intelligence, cognitive emotion regulation strategies, and well-being indicators (e.g., psychological well-being and satisfaction with life), controlling for sociodemographic variables and personality traits in [...] Read more.
Based on a primary prevention perspective, the main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between ability emotional intelligence, cognitive emotion regulation strategies, and well-being indicators (e.g., psychological well-being and satisfaction with life), controlling for sociodemographic variables and personality traits in our analyses. Three hundred and seventy-eight college students (123 males; 252 females; 3 unreported) participated voluntarily in this study. We predicted that ability emotional intelligence would be significantly and positively correlated with well-being outcomes, and that cognitive emotion regulation strategies would mediate the associations between ability emotional intelligence and well-being, controlling for sociodemographic and personality traits. Structural equation modelling estimated by bootstrap method indicated that two adaptive cognitive coping strategies were found to act as partial mediators between ability emotional intelligence and well-being indicators. Our findings provide preliminary support for theoretical work linking ability emotional intelligence, cognitive emotion regulation strategies, and well-being outcomes, and contribute to the understanding of how ability emotional intelligence is related to subjective well-being via specific cognitive emotion regulation strategies in college students. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tipping to Staying on the Ground: Internalized Knowledge of Climate Change Crucial for Transformed Air Travel Behavior
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051994 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
Air travel accounts for a major share of individual greenhouse gas emissions, particularly for people in high-income countries. Until recently, few have reduced flying because of climate concerns, but currently, a movement for staying on the ground is rising. Sweden has been a [...] Read more.
Air travel accounts for a major share of individual greenhouse gas emissions, particularly for people in high-income countries. Until recently, few have reduced flying because of climate concerns, but currently, a movement for staying on the ground is rising. Sweden has been a focal point for this movement, particularly during 2018–2019, when a flight tax was introduced, and air travel reduction was intensely discussed in the media. We performed semi-structured interviews with Swedish residents, focusing primarily on individuals who have reduced flying because of its climate impact. We explore how such individual transformation of air travel behavior comes about, and the phases and components of this process. Applying a framework of sustainability transformation, we identify incentives and barriers in personal and political spheres. We show that internalized knowledge about climate change and the impact of air travel is crucial for instigating behavioral change. Awareness evokes negative emotions leading to a personal tipping point where a decision to reduce or quit flying is made. However, the process is often counteracted by both personal values and political structures promoting air travel. Even individuals with a strong drive to reduce flying feel trapped in social practices, norms and infrastructures. Hence, we argue that personal and political spheres interact complexly and to reduce flying at larger scales, interventions are needed across spheres, e.g., change of norms, effective policy instruments and better alternatives to air travel. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cognitive Dissonance in Sustainability Scientists Regarding Air Travel for Academic Purposes: A Qualitative Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051837 - 29 Feb 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate in depth the perspectives of sustainability scientists regarding academic air travel, with an emphasis on cognitive dissonance and associated coping and rationalisation strategies. The research design is case study-based, focusing on a sustainability-focused academic unit [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate in depth the perspectives of sustainability scientists regarding academic air travel, with an emphasis on cognitive dissonance and associated coping and rationalisation strategies. The research design is case study-based, focusing on a sustainability-focused academic unit in Germany. Thematic content analysis was applied to the transcripts of 11 interviews with sustainability scientists. Analytic codes were informed by prior previously identified cognitive dissonance reduction strategies. The research design is interpretative rather than seeking representativeness. Most of the academics questioned experience some degree of cognitive dissonance relating to the disjunction between their sustainability knowledge, attitudes and flight behaviour. While this dissonance relates—as expected—to the inconsistency between pro-environmental attitudes and flying, it also relates to the contradiction of social norms that support academic flying. To resolve feelings of dissonance, the interviewees report behavioural change, suppress inconsistencies and use various justifications that include denial of control, denial of responsibility, comparisons and compensation through benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Threat and Anxiety in the Climate Debate—An Agent-Based Model to Investigate Climate Scepticism and Pro-Environmental Behaviour
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051823 - 28 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In order to meet the challenges of sustainable development, it is of utmost importance to involve all relevant decision makers in this process. These decision makers are diverse, including governments, corporations and private citizens. Since the latter group is the largest and the [...] Read more.
In order to meet the challenges of sustainable development, it is of utmost importance to involve all relevant decision makers in this process. These decision makers are diverse, including governments, corporations and private citizens. Since the latter group is the largest and the majority of decisions relevant to the future of the environment is made by that group, great effort has been put into communicating relevant research results to them. The hope is that well-informed citizens make well-informed choices and thus act in a sustainable way. However, this common but drastic simplification that more information about climate change automatically leads to pro-environmental behaviour is fundamentally flawed. It completely neglects the complex social-psychological processes that occur if people are confronted with threatening information. In reality, the defence mechanisms that are activated in such situations can also work against the goal of sustainable development, as experimental studies showed. Based on these findings, we propose an agent-based model to understand the relation between threatening climate change information, anxiety, climate change scepticism, environmental self-identity and pro-environmental behaviour. We find that the exposure to information about climate change, in general, does not increase the pro-environmental intent unless several conditions regarding the individual’s values and information density are met. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Circular-Looking Makes Green-Buying: How Brand Logo Shapes Influence Green Consumption
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051791 - 27 Feb 2020
Abstract
Despite the development of green products, convincing consumers to engage in green consumption is still a difficult task. This research attempts to help solve this problem from the perspective of brand logo design. Specifically, this research explores how circular and angular logo shapes [...] Read more.
Despite the development of green products, convincing consumers to engage in green consumption is still a difficult task. This research attempts to help solve this problem from the perspective of brand logo design. Specifically, this research explores how circular and angular logo shapes influence green consumption. Three studies provide support for our basic prediction that a circular (vs. angular) logo is more effective in promoting green consumption. Self-construal plays a mediating role in this mechanism. However, the logo shape effect disappears when consumers are primed with high sense of power. When taken together, this research not only has theoretical contributions to green consumption and visual marketing, it also provides practical implications for firms manufacturing green products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influencing Factors of Chinese Consumers’ Purchase Intention to Sustainable Apparel Products: Exploring Consumer “Attitude–Behavioral Intention” Gap
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051770 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
As the rapid economic growth and over-consumption within the largest population worldwide has resulted in harmful environment deterioration, a shift to more sustainable consumption behaviors is required in China. Although public interests in sustainability have increased and consumers’ attitudes are positive, their behavioral [...] Read more.
As the rapid economic growth and over-consumption within the largest population worldwide has resulted in harmful environment deterioration, a shift to more sustainable consumption behaviors is required in China. Although public interests in sustainability have increased and consumers’ attitudes are positive, their behavioral intentions are not consistent with attitudes. This study aims to uncover psychological drivers and barriers (consumption values, social norms, and attitudes to sustainable apparel products) of Chinese consumers’ behavioral intentions toward sustainable apparel products (SAP) by exploring the attitude–behavioral intention gap. Online survey data were used to examine the moderating impacts of consumption values and social norms on relationship between Chinese consumers’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward SAP. Results from moderating regression analysis suggest that (1) Chinese consumers’ SAP attitudes had a strong positive effect on the purchase intention toward SAP, (2) aesthetic values positively moderated the relationship between the SAP attitude and purchase intention, whereas conspicuous values negatively moderated the relationship, and (3) utility values and social norms did not show any significant moderating influences on the relationship between the SAP attitude and purchase intention. Our study validates the attitude–behavior gap model in sustainable consumer behavior and discusses how the current findings can assist researchers and practitioners in the Clothing and Textiles field alike to fine-tune sustainable programs and marketing strategies in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Satisfaction with Environmental Performance on Subjective Well-Being in China: GDP as a Moderating Factor
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1745; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051745 - 26 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of environmental performance on subjective well-being against the background of different levels of economic development in China. The findings from the CGSS2015, combined with environmental quality data using the multi-level linear regression analysis [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of environmental performance on subjective well-being against the background of different levels of economic development in China. The findings from the CGSS2015, combined with environmental quality data using the multi-level linear regression analysis method, indicated that the public’s satisfaction with environmental performance will significantly enhance their happiness. The GDP variable was found to moderate this effect with reference to the expectation theory, positing that people have high expectations of happiness in provinces with a high GDP. The higher their expectations of being happy, the smaller the effect of satisfaction with environmental performance on happiness. These findings make contributions to both theory and public policy making, with relevant guidelines regarding physical activity recommendations and behavioral management strategies discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determining the Challenges Encountered by Chinese Expatriates in Pakistan
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041327 - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
The workforce of growing globalization has led to a large number of expatriate employees working overseas for short term employment. An expatriate assignment is strongly correlated with a variety of difficulties that affect expatriates’ adjustment abroad. Therefore, the aim of this article is: [...] Read more.
The workforce of growing globalization has led to a large number of expatriate employees working overseas for short term employment. An expatriate assignment is strongly correlated with a variety of difficulties that affect expatriates’ adjustment abroad. Therefore, the aim of this article is: (1) to determine the challenges encountered by Chinese expatriates in Pakistan and (2) to determine the role of cross-cultural training for a successful international assignment. The paper adopts a qualitative approach by conducting semi-structured interviews; the interviews were conducted with 22 males and eight females, forming a total of 30 Chinese employees with the average age of 34.5 years, working in different Chinese organizations in Pakistan in 2018. The findings of this study revealed that the most significant challenges faced by Chinese expatriates in Pakistan were cultural differences and language barriers in both work and non-work factors, whereas, those Chinese expatriates who were trained through formal and informal learning techniques could facilitate their cross-cultural adjustment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cooperation and Competition Impact Environmental Action: An Experimental Study in Social Dilemmas
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031249 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Previous research about social dilemmas has identified cooperation as a possible underlying facilitator of proenvironmental behavior. However, there has been no discussion about how manipulating cooperation and competition could influence environmental action experimentally. The current study filled this gap in previous literature by [...] Read more.
Previous research about social dilemmas has identified cooperation as a possible underlying facilitator of proenvironmental behavior. However, there has been no discussion about how manipulating cooperation and competition could influence environmental action experimentally. The current study filled this gap in previous literature by manipulating cooperation and competition in a group of 155 participants and comparing their respective environmental actions. Participants were randomly placed into one of three conditions and primed by writing a short passage regarding a significant personal experience where they acted cooperatively, competitively, or neutrally. It was found that those in the cooperative priming group scored significantly higher on environmental participatory action than people in the competitive priming group. However, no difference was found on environmental leadership action. The results indicated that participatory environmental actions are relatively easier to change, as the threshold for interest in them is much lower than leadership environmental actions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Role of Malaysian Student’s Intrapreneurial Self-Capital in the Relationship between Satisfaction with Life, Academic Performance, and Flourishing
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020580 - 13 Jan 2020
Abstract
Intrapreneurial self-capital is the construct coined by Di Fabio as a core of individual resources used to cope with career and life construction challenges. In this study, we used the model of Individual Differences in Evaluating Life Satisfaction (IDELS) to examine the mediating [...] Read more.
Intrapreneurial self-capital is the construct coined by Di Fabio as a core of individual resources used to cope with career and life construction challenges. In this study, we used the model of Individual Differences in Evaluating Life Satisfaction (IDELS) to examine the mediating role of intrapreneurial self-capital in the relationship between life satisfaction and flourishing among Malaysian undergraduate students. The Intrapreneurial Self-Capital Scale (ISCS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and Flourishing Scale were administered to 665 undergraduate students from one of the public universities in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. The results reported a significant direct effect of student satisfaction with life to flourishing. A significant path coefficient was also found from satisfaction with life and student academic performance to intrapreneurial self-concept providing the support that student satisfaction with life and academic performance has a positive effect on their intrapreneurial self-concept. The coefficients from intrapreneurial self-concept to flourishing was also significant. This provides initial support that an intrapreneurial self-concept may have a positive mediating effect on the relationship between satisfaction with life, academic performance, and flourishing. We found that the indirect effects of satisfaction with life and academic performance on flourishing through intrapreneurial self-concept were significant. These results provided further support for the mediating effect of intrapreneurial self-concept. The analysis also that revealed satisfaction with life was significantly and positively related to flourishing. However, the finding showed no significant direct effect of student academic performance on flourishing. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Natural Capital Evolution and Driving Forces in Energy-Rich and Ecologically Fragile Regions: A Case Study of Ningxia Province, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020562 - 11 Jan 2020
Abstract
Ningxia Province is rich in energy but fragile in ecology. How to coordinate sustainable utilization of natural capital and the fragile ecological environment is a significant guarantee for social-economic development. This study uses the improved three-dimensional ecological footprint to characterize the utilization status [...] Read more.
Ningxia Province is rich in energy but fragile in ecology. How to coordinate sustainable utilization of natural capital and the fragile ecological environment is a significant guarantee for social-economic development. This study uses the improved three-dimensional ecological footprint to characterize the utilization status of natural capital flows and stocks in Ningxia Province from 2004 to 2017. Additionally, the driving factors behind changes in the natural capital stock are revealed by the partial least squares method (PLS). The results are as follows: (1) From 2004 to 2017, ecological footprint increased rapidly in Ningxia Province at an annual rate of 4.52%, resulting in a increase of the ecological deficit from 1.64 to 3.85 gha/cap at an annual rate of 6.8%, among which, Yinchuan city and Shizuishan city had the largest ecological deficit, while Guyuan city basically maintained ecological surplus. The fossil energy land and cropland were the main components of ecological footprint. (2) The consumption of capital stock in Ningxia Province continued to grow at an annual rate of 3.12%, from a value of 2.28 times overusing the existing area in 2004, increasing to 3.41 times in 2017. While the EF size increased slightly with an annual rate of 1.95%. The capital stock consumption was concentrated in Yinchuan and Shizuishan, and the capital flow consumption was concentrated in Wuzhong, Guyuan, and Zhongwei. (3) The capital flows of forest land and built-up land basically meet consumption demand, while the capital stock occupation of grassland, water and fossil energy land was serious. By 2017, the capital flow of cropland could basically satisfy people’s consumption demand. (4) The urbanization rate, GDP, the secondary industry output value and per capita consumption expenditure of urban residents were the main influence factors on the natural capital stock consumption. These findings not only are of real significance in promoting the coordinated development between economy and natural capital utilization in Ningxia Province but also have policy implications in improving the utilization efficiency of natural capital in energy-rich ecologically fragile regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
International Cooperation in Developing Countries: Reducing Fatalism and Promoting Self-Efficacy to Ensure Sustainable Cooperation
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020547 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
International cooperation projects aim to support populations in developing countries or affected by emergency situations and to promote their wellbeing in a coherent way and in line with the 10th Sustainable Development Goal and with the principles of the psychology of sustainability and [...] Read more.
International cooperation projects aim to support populations in developing countries or affected by emergency situations and to promote their wellbeing in a coherent way and in line with the 10th Sustainable Development Goal and with the principles of the psychology of sustainability and sustainable development. This study analyzed the ways in which such projects influence two psychosocial variables, fatalism and self-efficacy, which are of great importance in determining the attitude of people to promoting change and improving their living conditions by themselves. The sample (N = 510) consists of adult users of Caritas Italiana projects in developing countries, namely, 161 individuals in Argentina, 123 in Bosnia, 96 in Sierra Leone, and 130 in Sri Lanka. The results indicate that the very fact of being involved in cooperation projects, both economic welfare and social promotion projects, favors a reduction in fatalistic attitudes and that greater perception of self-efficacy predicts a reduction in fatalism. Specific effects are presented in relation to the different cultures, and education levels of the countries analyzed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Relationship between Perceived Conflict and Interactional Justice Influenced by Job Satisfaction and Group Identity
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7195; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247195 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The main aim of this research is to explore the relationships between perceived conflict and interactional justice. Specifically, we will try to shed light on how this relationship is mediated by a higher group identity and moderated by job satisfaction. The sample includes [...] Read more.
The main aim of this research is to explore the relationships between perceived conflict and interactional justice. Specifically, we will try to shed light on how this relationship is mediated by a higher group identity and moderated by job satisfaction. The sample includes 308 workers from the teaching and research staff of a Spanish public university. We found that conflict has a significant direct impact on organizational justice. Group identification strongly influences organizational justice. The interaction of perceived conflict and job satisfaction over group identification is statistically significant. We discuss the main conclusions and limitations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Positive Relational Management Benefit Managers Higher Up the Hierarchy? A Moderated Mediation Study of New Zealand Managers
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164373 - 13 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Interpersonal relationships play an important role in work success, and this is especially so for managers. The present study tests the Positive Relational Management (PRM) Scale and its influence on organizational trust, with the effects potentially mediated by work-life balance. Hence, more positive [...] Read more.
Interpersonal relationships play an important role in work success, and this is especially so for managers. The present study tests the Positive Relational Management (PRM) Scale and its influence on organizational trust, with the effects potentially mediated by work-life balance. Hence, more positive relationships at work shape better management of work-life issues, and ultimately build trust perceptions. We test this on a sample of 600 New Zealand managers and include managerial hierarchy as a moderator to determine whether positive relationships become less important as management level increases. Ultimately, we test a moderated mediation model in PROCESS and confirm the dimensionality and reliability of the scale. We find PRM is positively related to work-life balance and organizational trust, while work-life balance partially mediates this effect. In addition to two significant two-way interactions, we find support for a moderated mediation effect, with the indirect effect of PRM being positive and strongest for low-level managers, but a reduction in the strength of the indirect effects for middle- and senior-managers. Hence, the importance of interpersonal relationships is especially powerful for low-level managers. The implications for understanding the importance of PRM for managers are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Relationships at Work and Happiness: A Moderated Moderated Mediation Study of New Zealand Managers
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123443 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Interpersonal relationships at work are important especially for the well-being of employees. The present study tests Positive Relational Management (PRM) and its influence on employee happiness, and we include two firm-level moderators and an individual-level mediator to better understand the potential complexity of [...] Read more.
Interpersonal relationships at work are important especially for the well-being of employees. The present study tests Positive Relational Management (PRM) and its influence on employee happiness, and we include two firm-level moderators and an individual-level mediator to better understand the potential complexity of effects. Importantly, we test this in the context of New Zealand, which has been under-represented in employee studies of happiness and is important due to a growing national interest in wellbeing. We test whether positive relationships at work shape greater meaningful work (MFW) and this then influences happiness and mediates the effects of PRM. We also include Human Capital (the quality of people inside the firm) and firm size as moderators and combine these all to test a moderated moderated mediation model in PROCESS. We test this on a sample of 302 New Zealand managers with time-separated data. We confirm the dimensionality and reliability of the PRM scale and find it is positively related to MFW and happiness, while MFW fully mediates the direct effect of PRM. We find interaction effects including a moderated moderated mediation effect, with the indirect effect of PRM differing depending on firm size and the strength of human capital. The implications for understanding the importance of relationships on employee happiness is discussed. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Migrant Workers and Psychological Health: A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010120 - 22 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Migrant workers show an increase in the incidence of serious, psychotic, anxiety, and post-traumatic disorders due to a series of socio-environmental variables, such as loss of social status, discrimination, and separations from the family. The purpose is to elaborate a systematic review and [...] Read more.
Migrant workers show an increase in the incidence of serious, psychotic, anxiety, and post-traumatic disorders due to a series of socio-environmental variables, such as loss of social status, discrimination, and separations from the family. The purpose is to elaborate a systematic review and highlight the prevailing psychological pathologies of these workers and categories most at risk. Our research included articles published from 2009 to 2019 on the major databases (Pub Med, Cochrane Library, and Scopus) using a combination of some keywords. The online search indicated 1.228 references. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria, we analyzed 127 articles, in particular 12 reviews and 115 original articles. Principal emerging disorders from the research are depressive syndrome (poor concentration at work, feeling down, or anger and somatization), anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, and poor sleep quality. This causes low life conditions, which is also due to marginalization from the social context and strenuous work; in fact, migrant workers may suffer verbal or physical abuse, and they are often employed in dangerous, unhealthy jobs. It is therefore essential to increase the role of occupational medicine and promote wellbeing for this vulnerable job category. Full article
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