Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Marci R. Culley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rod Watts, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kelly M. Lewis, Ph.D.

Abstract

The most devastating effects of climate change may be avoided if humans reduce activities that produce greenhouse gases and engage instead in more sustainable ecological behaviors. The current mixed methods study of 279 undergraduate students explored whether environmental worldview, belief in climate change, knowledge of climate change, personal efficacy, and intention to address climate change influenced participants’ engagement in ecological behavior. Results indicated that those with a stronger intention to address climate change and a more ecocentric worldview reported significantly more ecological behavior. Next, the study examined whether participants’ intentions to address climate change mediated the relationship between their belief in climate change and engagement in ecological behavior and whether intentions mediated the relationship between efficacy and ecological behavior. Intentions to address climate change did not mediate the relationship between belief and ecological behavior but fully mediated the relationship between efficacy to address climate change and ecological behavior.

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