Environmental attitudes and ecological behavior

This running project encompasses a variety of activities, internally funded through salary support for Terry Hartig. In general, this research concerns the ways in which attitudes toward environmental protection and the natural environment become manifest in diverse forms of ecological or pro-environmental behavior. To date, the research activities have included collaborations with researchers in several countries, including Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and the USA, among others. Some of these collaborative efforts overlap in their concerns with research described under other projects here. Some of the collaborations are ongoing. 

A distinctive feature of these studies is the representation of the attitude-behavior relationship as a formal one rather than a causal one. This perspective is a core feature of the Campbell paradigm, a set of theoretical and methodological innovations elaborated by Florian Kaiser (Otto-von-Guericke University, Germany), starting from ideas of Donald T. Campbell. Most of the completed studies have used self-reports regarding sets of related behaviors to represent the level of attitude toward the given attitude object. Some of the work done has involved only theoretical analysis. Most of the empirical studies have primarily applied survey methods, though some have applied experimental methods. 

Select publications:

Arnold, O., Kibbe, A., Hartig, T., & Kaiser, F.G. (2018). Capturing the environmental impact of individual lifestyles: Evidence of the criterion validity of the General Ecological Behavior Scale. Environment & Behavior, 50, 350-372.

Kaiser, F.G., Brügger, A. Hartig, T., Bogner, F.X., & Gutscher, H. (2014). Appreciation of nature and appreciation of environmental protection: How stable are these attitudes and which comes first? European Review of Applied Psychology, 64, 269-277.

Kaiser, F. G., Hartig, T., Duvier, C., & Brügger, A. (2013). Environmental protection and nature as distinct attitudinal objects: An application of the Campbell paradigm. Environment & Behavior, 45, 369-398.

Kaiser, F. G., Byrka, K., & Hartig, T. (2010). Reviving Campbell’s paradigm for attitude research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 351-367.

Hartig, T., Kaiser, F. G., & Strumse, E. (2007). Psychological restoration in nature as a source of motivation for ecological behavior. Environmental Conservation, 34, 291-299.