Appreciation of Nature and Appreciation of Environmental Protection: How Stable Are These Attitudes and Which Comes First?

Abstract

AbstractIntroduction Attitude toward nature and attitude toward environmental protection are two separate but correlated attitudes. Little is known about the two attitudes' stability/volatility over time, despite the practical value of such knowledge. Objectives & method Using longitudinal survey data from 251~adults in a cross-lagged structural equation model, we assessed the degree of spontaneous (i.e., unprompted) change in the two attitudes. We also considered whether such change could provide evidence regarding causal direction; causation could go in either of two directions between the two attitudes, or it could even be bi-directional. Results We corroborated the substantive connection between attitude toward nature and attitude toward environmental protection; however, the absence of change in the attitudes despite the passage of two years disallows reliable statements about causal direction. Conclusion It is possible to protect the environment by encouraging appreciation of nature, but change in attitude toward nature and attitude toward environmental protection may be difficult to achieve with mature individuals.

Publication
Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliqué/European Review of Applied Psychology

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