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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department of Biology Education - Prof. Dr. Franz X. Bogner

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Oerke, B: Natur- und Umweltschutzbewusstsein: Dimensionalität und Validität beim Messen von Einstellungen und Verhalten., (2008)
In this study, two existing measures for environmental attitude (1) and behaviour (2) were devolved to new target groups (pupils and teachers, respectively) and validated. Since in the past similar concepts were measured with different numbers of subscales, clarifying the dimensionality of the analysed scales was an important aim of the studies. 1. In the frame of the EU-project BIOHEAD-Citizen, the two scales Utilisation and Preservation of the 2-factor model of environmental values (2-MEV) from Bogner and Wiseman (2006) being explicitly addressed to adolescents, were applied to the new target group of adults. Both factors were confirmed. However, in the adult sample, a smaller amount of variance was explained compared to previous studies with pupils’ samples. Both factors were differentiated by the socio-demographic variables gender, age and education, especially subject matter (biology versus language). 2. Based on the General Ecological Behaviour (GEB) scale developed for adults by Kaiser and Wilson (Kaiser, 1998; Kaiser and Wilson, 2004), an appropriate scale for adolescents was calibrated. It was shown that environmental behaviour can be represented by one dimension, though in earlier studies different types of behaviour were distinguished. The content validity of the new scale for adolescents and traditional measures was revealed by developing four behaviour type measures based on the same items used in the one-dimensional scale. The frequently discussed attitude-behaviour gap was not approved. The conception of attitude as behaviour disposition and the concept of the scale as behaviour-based environmental attitude were supported by a good deal of variance explained by the two attitude scales Preservation and Utilisation. 3. Last but not least, the potential influence of social desirability responding on validity was tested for both measures. Behaviour scores as well as Preservation scores were slightly overestimated because of social desirability impact. Utilisation scores were not affected by social desirability. Likewise, the prediction of the behaviour scores by means of the two attitude scores was hardly impaired. 4. Both measures capture environmental attitudes on different levels. Whereas there is a high correlation between Preservation and behaviour based attitude, the impact of Utilisation on environmental behaviour still has to be surveyed.
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