Florian G. Kaiser, Katarzyna Byrka: Overt, Real, & Specific Conservation Behavior Predicted with General Environmental AttitudeOral in Models of pro-environmental behaviour II
12.09.2007, 13:00-13:20, H11
Opposed to conservation psychology's common knowledge, we predict that people's general environmental attitude controls the occurrence of an overt behavior (i.e., cooperation in a commons dilemma), but only if this specific behavior appears to be an attitude-relevant, conservation activity. In a lab experiment, we tested our hypothesis with 131 persons that we had previously assessed in regard to their overall environmental attitude by using self-reported behavior (i.e., using the GEB scale). With a commons dilemma game, we found participants that have a highly favorable environmental attitude take the least from the common pool, but only if the dilemma is presented in a conservation frame (playing for energy) and not in a neutral one (playing for points).
If our model holds true, individuals who engage in a difficult and, thus, unpopular behavior--which is at the same time recognized as truly conservational in its consequences (i.e., being a vegetarian)--must also display higher levels of environmental attitude. With an Internet survey, we tested our prediction with 175 self-declared vegetarians and 45 non-vegetarians. We found vegetarianism to correspond with higher levels of environmental attitude, but only if general attitude was measured with self-reported behavior (i.e., with the GEB scale) but not with the New Environmental Paradigm scale.