Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Attitudes Toward the Environment
Journal of Environmental Psychology
The relationship between two motives underlying environmental attitudes was examined: ecocentrism—valuing nature for its own sake, and anthropocentrism—valuing nature because of material or physical benefits it can provide for humans. Scales to measure ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes and general apathy toward environmental issues were developed. In Study 1, the ecocentric and anthropocentric scales were found to predict independently conserving behaviors, apathy toward environmental issues, and membership in environmental organizations. In Study 2, these results were partially replicated and extended to include the relationship between ecocentric attitudes and an observed measure of environmentally-relevant behavior. In addition, it was demonstrated that the ecocentric-anthropocentric distinction explains behavior independently of environmental attitudes measured with a traditional attitude scale. Implications of the ecocentric-anthropocentric distinction for further research on environmental attitudes and behaviors are discussed.
Thompson, S. C. G., & Barton, M. A. (1994). Ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the environment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 14, 149-157.