PREDICTING PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS: A MODEL AND A TEST
ANNE M. STEWART
JOHN L. CRAIG
AbstractThe level of public commitment to environmental sustainability is unclear; most people appear inactive in terms of effective pro-environmental behavior despite optimistic reports from public opinion polls. Mounting degradation is evidence that pro-environmental behavior has declined or at least has grown insufficiently to make a difference to environmental degradation rates. There has been a call for a fresh approach to resolve accelerating degradation. We take up this challenge and suggest that most people live in urban environments low in functional natural values. Consequently they do not understand that their continued existence depends on naturally functioning ecosystems. We investigate the effect of direct experience of a naturally functioning ecosystem (versus a constructed environment) on conservation attitudes and rates of pro-environmental behavior. Results suggest that frequent experience of a naturally functioning ecosystem was more strongly linked to conservation attitudes and pro-environmental behavior than frequent experience of a constructed environment (such as a zoo).
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