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Emotional Affinity Toward Nature As a Motivational Basis to Protect Nature

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environment and Behavior, Volume 31, p.178- (1999)



Nature-protective behavior cannot be sufficiently explained using a pure rational/cognitive approach. Therefore, in a questionnaire study (N = 281.; the focus was on emotional motivations of this behavior, especially on a newly conceptualized construct: emotional affinity toward nature. All constructs were measured by reliable and valid scales. Multiple regression analyses reveal that (a) emotional affinity is as powerful to predict nature-protective behavior as indignation and interest in nature and together these three predictors explain up to 47% of variance of the criterion variables, and (b) 39% of emotional affinity toward nature traces back to present and past experiences in natural environments. The resulting integrative path model is discussed. Theoretical conclusions are drawn, and options for practical intervention are derived.