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The New Ecological Paradigm in Social-Psychological Context

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Environment and Behavior, Volume 27, Number 6, p.723-743 (1995)





The New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale is the most frequently used measure of environmental concern, but it has not been placed in the context of a social-psychological theory of attitude formation or attitude-behavior relationships. Using data from a northern Virginia sample, this study examines NEP in relation to the variables in a theoretical model of environmental concern. We found that the NEP is indistinguishable from a scale of awareness of consequences (AC) of general environmental conditions, both psychometrically and in terms of its relations to behavioral intentions, but somewhat different in its relations to basic value orientations and sociodemographic variables. We conclude that both NEP and AC measure generalized beliefs about the nature of human-environment interactions-or "folk ecology"a set of beliefs that may be influenced by social structure and values and that influence attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intentions regarding specific environmental conditions.