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Authoritarianism and Attitudes Toward the Environment

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environment and Behavior, Volume 26, p.25- (1994)



Two studies of authoritarianism and environmental attitudes were under-taken. The first, a field study, found the opponents of a proposed riverside power plant to be less authoritarian and more environmentally concerned than supporters of the plants establishment. Overall, right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) correlated -.51 with environmental concern. The second study replicated this finding within a college sample, using a validated measure of environmental concern, the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale. NEP correlated -.54 with RWA. It is concluded that the relationship between authoritarianism and environmental concern is presently strong. Prospective explanations for this relationship revolve around the theoretical nature of authoritarianism.