Environmental Attitudes (EA) are a psychological tendency expressed by evaluative responses to the natural environment with some degree of favor or disfavor (Milfont & Duckitt, 2010).
Environmental attitudes are a latent construct; therefore we cannot observe it directly. We can only infer it from overt responses (Himmelfarb, 1993). We can also use direct self-report methods or implicit measurement techniques (Krosnick, Judd, & Wittenbrink, 2005).
There are many measured available in the field to measure Environmental Attitudes. However, only three of these measures are widely used: the Ecology Scale (Maloney & Ward, 1973; Maloney, Ward, & Braucht, 1975), the Environmental Concern Scale (Weigel & Weigel, 1978), and the New Environmental Paradigm Scale (Dunlap & Van Liere, 1978; Dunlap, Van Liere, Mertig, & Jones, 2000).
There are many approaches regarding the dimensionality of Environmental Attitudes. Wiseman & Bogner (2003) first proposed that the hierarchical structure of Environmental Attitudes consists of two second order factors: Preservation and Utilization. And a recent study have suggested that environmental attitudes can be grouped into the same two independent themes (Milfont & Gouveia, 2006).
Our focus for this website will hence be on Preservation and Utilization attitudes towards the environment among individuals in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Preservation is a biocentric dimension that reflects conservation and protection of the environment. Individuals with this type of environmental attitude place priority on preserving nature in its initial state. These individuals are often keen on protecting nature from any human use or alteration.
Utilization is an anthropocentric dimension that reflects the utilization of natural resources. Individuals with this environmental attitude believe that it is right and appropriate for natural resources to be tapped on for human use and alteration.
Research has identified a few factors that influence Environmental Attitudes. The factors influencing Environmental Attitudes can be broadly classified into socio-demographic, psychological and environmentally related variables.
As you will see in the Attitudes section of the pages Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, many variables play a role together to contribute to a person’s Environmental Attitude.