ERG SES H 04, Parallel Session H 04
In recent years, we have been facing many environmental problems such as pollution, deforestation, reduction in biodiversity, etc. The main cause of these problems underlies human behaviors (Frantz, Mayer, Norton & Rock, 2005). Since people see themselves separate from nature, they have been observed to have a tendency to destroy the natural environment (Schultz, 2002; Frantz et.al., 2005). In other words, it was pointed out that lack of human connection with the natural world may lead to destruction of the environment by human activities. On the other hand, personal interaction with nature can support deep understanding into the way people’s attitude to the environment. Therefore, nature relatedness we studied in this research plays an important role to prevent this destruction (Nisbet, Zelenski, & Murphy, 2008).
Environmental concern is another important variable that could be considered in explaining pro-environmental behaviors. Regarding the nature of individuals’ environmental concern, it was proposed that the basis of this concern diverse in self, other people and all living things (Schultz, 2000). In this aspect, examining major concern type that individuals hold could make a significant contribution in development of pro-environmental behaviors.
The last significant variable we used in this research is environmentally desirable response. This variable refers to social desirability showing that people tend to answer the questions with regard to the society’s expectations rather than their own feelings (Kaiser, 1998).
Some research studies (e.g. Dunlap, Liere, Mertig, & Jones, 2000; Nisbet et al., 2008) have shown that people having feelings of concern toward nature put an effort to conserve natural resources, animals, plants, and think more about both human and animal rights. Thus, enhancement of favorable attitudes, emotions, and beliefs toward nature could be regarded as a good starting point to make environmental education efforts successful (Nisbet, 2005). However, researchers studying on environmental issues find a gap between environmental behavior and attitude. They think that social desirability may be the reason of this gap (Milfont, 2008). Therefore, we take environmentally desirable response variable to predict environmental behavior. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the role of nature relatedness, environmental concern and environmentally desirable response variables in predicting university students’ environmental behavior.
1. How much variance in environmental behavior can be explained by nature relatedness, environmental concern and environmentally desirable response?
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