Socio Demographic Variables
Research has yielded rather mixed results for age’s influence on Environmental Attitudes.
Some researches have found that the higher one’s age, the less environmentally concerned an individual becomes (Baldassare & Katz, 1992; Diekmann & Preisendörfer, 1998; Fransson & Gärling, 1999; Hines, Hungerford, & Tomera, 1987; McStay & Dunlap, 1983; Stern, Dietz, & Kalof, 1993; Theodori & Luloff, 2002; Van Liere & Dunlap, 1980).
Other researches have, on the contrary, concluded the findings that the relationship between being concern for the environment and age is a positive one (Schwartz, 2005; Mayer & Frantz, 2004)
Hence, as can be seen, age is perhaps not a conclusive influence on attitude.
The research surrounding gender has yielded more consistent results than those surrounding age.
There have been many researches that have established that females generally care more about the environment than males (Korfiatis, Hovardas, & Pantis, 2004; Theodori & Luloff, 2002; Vaske, Donnelly, Williams, & Jonker, 2001; e.g., Zelezny, Chua, & Aldrich, 2000).
Level of Education
There has been research findings which supports the notion that the more educated are more concerned for the environment and place more emphasis on biocentric orientations than the less educated (Fransson & Gärling, 1999; Hines, Hungerford, & Tomera, 1987; Olofsson & Öhman, 2006; Theodori & Luloff, 2002; Vaske, Donnelly, Williams, & Jonker, 2001).
We can perhaps relate this to the model proposed by Clayton and Myers on the factors influencing behavior. Knowledge is one key factor that drives people to undertake pro environmental behavior.
This may be one reason why the more educated are more concerned for the environment and have more biocentric orientations. They perhaps have more access to knowledge surrounding environmental threats and issues than the less educated. Also, they have more capacity and ability to understand the environmental messages that are bring spread and disseminated.
It was argued that the religious traditions in Christianity highlights anthropocentric views of the environment and encourage the belief in human dominance over nature (White, 1967). Subsequent research has also support for this. It was found that individuals from a Judeo-Christian tradition are less environmentally concerned (Gardner & Stern, 2002; Schultz, Zelezny, & Dalrymple, 2000).
White (1967) even went on to argue that perhaps a more respectful attitude towards nature can be found among those who practice Eastern religions that would advocate more protection of the environment. This relationship, however, has not been found.
Gardner and Stern (2002) concluded that after controlling for variables like age, gender, education, income and political liberalism, the relationship between religious beliefs and environmental concerns or attitudes is a weak one.
Research has concluded that individuals with higher income have higher Environmental Attitudes scores as compared to those with lower incomes (Fransson & Gärling, 1999; Theodori & Luloff, 2002; Van Liere & Dunlap, 1980; Vaske et al., 2001).
The results for residence as a variable that influence Environmental Attitudes have been rather mixed.
Some studies have found urban residents to be more environmentally concerned as compared to rural residents (Arcury & Christianson, 1990; Howell & Laska, 1992).
Other studies have found the opposite: Rural residents are more environmentally concerned as compared to urban residents (Bunting & Cousins, 1985).
It was suggested that these mixed results could be due to the fact that Environmental Attitudes are more likely to be influenced by exposure to environmental problems than of place of residence (Arcury & Christianson, 1990; Fransson & Gärling, 1999). And environmental problems can be sighted in both rural and urban landscapes.
While the researches presented so far have shown mixed results, Milfont (2007) did a review of all these variables. The review reveals that individuals who are females, young, more educated, and have low levels of religiosity, lives in urban areas and have higher incomes are more likely to maintain pro Environmental Attitudes.