Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

5-12-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Kala Melchiori

Robin Anderson

Debbie Sturm

Abstract

The state of our current environment is rapidly declining due to human activity. Therefore, it is imperative to understand ways to promote pro-environmental behavior and what variables may explain this behavior. Previous studies have found that nature connectedness may be one way to increase pro-environmental behaviors and that one’s levels of masculinity and femininity may also affect not only how connected to nature one is, but also how often one may engage in sustainable behaviors. However, to date researchers have not examined the effect of agency and communion, values which every person has regardless of gender, on the relationship between nature connectedness and pro-environmental behavior intentions. This study aims to understand how agency and communion can mediate the relationship between nature connectedness and pro-environmental behavior intentions. In the pilot study to determine efficacy of video stimuli, I was able to virtually induce nature connectedness in participants in only 3 minutes. I utilized the same videos for my primary study that examined the mediational effects of agency and communion on the nature connectedness and pro-environmental behavior intentions relationship. Results showed that agency and communion did not mediate the relationship between nature connectedness and pro-environmental behavior intentions and nature connectedness did not have an effect on pro-environmental behavior intentions. However, communion did have a significant direct effect on pro-environmental behavior intentions. The findings provide evidence for studying communal and agentic traits in environmental research and suggest that values such as communion may be useful for encouraging pro-environmental behavior intentions.

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