Year of Publication

2016

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Barnes Truelove

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Fuglestad

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Daniel Moon

Abstract

Most efforts to categorize pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs) have focused on researchers’ – rather than laypeople’s – perceptions of PEBs. Drawing on the psychometric paradigm used to categorize environmental risks, we aimed to identify the PEB attributes salient to laypeople and, from that, determine the underlying dimensions of PEB. In Study 1, participants (n = 157) evaluated 30 PEBs through open-ended questions. The results revealed 21 attributes that laypeople commonly associate with PEBs. In Study 2, 250 MTurk participants rated 74 PEBs on the 21 attributes. An exploratory factor analysis revealed four factors underlying PEB: Factor 1 (Financial and Behavioral Cost), Factor 2 (External Pressures), Factor 3 (Environmental Impact and Savings) and Factor 4 (Health and Safety Impacts). PEBs were characterized along each dimension and along multiple dimensions using biplots. Additionally, the four factors strongly predicted behavior intention. The results have implications for interventions to increase PEBs in the general public.

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