The Role of (Human) Nature on Environmental Action Michelle Verges Indiana University, South Bend [email_address]
I Couldn’t Have Done it Without You <ul><li>Dean Lynn Williams </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Psychology, IUSB </li></ul>...
The Bag Lady
 
 
APS (May, 2007)
Is there a relationship between environmental attitudes and sustainable behaviors?
Think of nature…
 
 
 
 
Connection to Nature <ul><li>Like bears, humans are part of nature. </li></ul><ul><li>We evolved and have spent 99% of hum...
Connection to Nature <ul><li>One school of thought: Connection to nature mediates pro-environmental behavior and action (S...
Women  Men  On the next several slides you will see typical male and female names. If the name is female, tap your left ha...
Women  Men  John
Women  Men  Robert
Women  Men  Jane
Women  Men  Michael
Women  Men  Jennifer
Women  Men  Mary
Women  Men  Karen
Women  Men  Bill
Women  Men  Thomas
Women  Men  Kate
Career  Family  On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles. If the word is career, tap your l...
Career  Family  management
Career  Family  relatives
Career  Family  professional
Career  Family  corporation
Career  Family  marriage
Career  Family  children
Career  Family  career
Career  Family  parents
Career  Family  salary
Career  Family  home
Career  Family  office
Career  Family  business
Career  Family  family
Career  Family  wedding
Block A
Career or Male  Family  or Female  On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles, as well as nam...
Career or Male  management Family  or Female
Career or Male  children Family  or Female
Career or Male  John  Family  or Female
Career or Male  Michael  Family  or Female
Career or Male  relatives  Family  or Female
Career or Male  office Family  or Female
Career or Male  Karen  Family  or Female
Career or Male  corporation Family  or Female
Career or Male  marriage Family  or Female
Career or Male  Mary  Family  or Female
Career or Male  parents Family  or Female
Career or Male  career Family  or Female
Career or Male  Jennifer   Family  or Female
Career or Male  salary Family  or Female
Career or Male  professional Family  or Female
Career or Male  business Family  or Female
Career or Male  Bill   Family  or Female
Career or Male  family Family  or Female
Career or Male  Jane   Family  or Female
Career or Male  home Family  or Female
Career or Male  Robert   Family  or Female
Career or Male  Kate   Family  or Female
Career or Male  wedding   Family  or Female
Career or Male  Thomas   Family  or Female
Block B
Career or Female  Family  or Male  On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles, as well as nam...
Career or Female  management Family  or Male
Career or Female  children Family  or Male
Career or Female  John   Family  or Male
Career or Female  Michael   Family  or Male
Career or Female  relatives   Family  or Male
Career or Female  office Family  or Male
Career or Female  Karen   Family  or Male
Career or Female  corporation Family  or Male
Career or Female  marriage Family  or Male
Career or Female  Mary   Family  or Male
Career or Female  parents Family  or Male
Career or Female  career Family  or Male
Career or Female  Jennifer  Family  or Male
Career or Female  salary Family  or Male
Career or Female  professional Family  or Male
Career or Female  business Family  or Male
Career or Female  Bill   Family  or Male
Career or Female  family Family  or Male
Career or Female  Jane   Family  or Male
Career or Female  home Family  or Male
Career or Female  Robert   Family  or Male
Career or Female  Kate   Family  or Male
Career or Female  wedding   Family  or Male
Career or Female  Thomas   Family  or Male
Which was easier? <ul><li>Block A or Block B? </li></ul><ul><li>For most people – even those who say they believe in equal...
Implicit connection to nature <ul><li>Schultz et al. (2004) developed a ‘connection to nature IAT’ </li></ul><ul><li>Relat...
 
 
 
<ul><li>If people have a “primitive” belief that favors nature over the built environment, then stimulus valence should ha...
<ul><li>Original Items </li></ul><ul><li>NATURE: animals, birds, plants, whales, trees </li></ul><ul><li>BUILT: building, ...
Results (Verges & Duffy, in press,  Environment and Behavior ) -200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200 Standard Nature IAT Pos...
<ul><li>Methodological point: Able to replicate prior findings regarding people’s implicit connections with nature  </li><...
Oh, the weather outside is frightful! <ul><li>If valence moderates implicit connection with nature, might emotional associ...
Oh, the weather outside is frightful! <ul><li>People spend time in nature during spring and autumn, but less so in winter....
Stronger  connection  with nature Stronger  connection  with built (Duffy & Verges, under review,  Journal of  Environment...
Stronger  connection  with nature Stronger  connection  with built (Duffy & Verges, under review,  Journal of  Environment...
<ul><li>Stronger evidence for contextual factors and connectedness with nature </li></ul><ul><li>In layman’s terms, people...
Without bribing, forcing, telling, or relying on spurious emotions,  how can we reliably improve pro-environmental behavio...
Started noticing a pattern...
Started noticing a pattern...
Control condition        Experimental condition
 
 
Results (Duffy & Verges, in press,  Environment and Behavior )
Results
<ul><li>The design of the environment profoundly shapes behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Not just limited to recycling...we can ...
Thank You!
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Dean Seminar2008 Enviro

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Invited talk on current research investigating factors that influence pro-environmental behaviors and attitudes. Talk presented at Indiana University, South Bend, Nov. 2008.

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  • Abstract Conventional wisdom suggests that environmental education increases sustainable practices to lessen the negative impacts humans have on the environment. Yet, educational programs that encourage pro-environmental behaviors may be time consuming and cost prohibitive. Current research in environmental psychology suggests that the way in which people associate themselves to nature may be related to self-reported environmental conservation behaviors. In a series of experiments, we test this model of environmental perception and discover a nuanced view on how people relate themselves to the natural and built environment. Results from these experiments challenge current models of connectedness with nature, which view implicit associations with nature as a dispositional trait. We offer an alternative model on connectedness with nature that accounts for contextual factors (e.g., meteorological conditions, seasonal variations) that influence people’s perceptions of nature. In addition, we explore how simple design aspects in the workplace may dramatically affect recycling compliance. Theoretical and practical implications regarding human perceptions about the natural and built environment are discussed.
  • Dean Seminar2008 Enviro

    1. 1. The Role of (Human) Nature on Environmental Action Michelle Verges Indiana University, South Bend [email_address]
    2. 2. I Couldn’t Have Done it Without You <ul><li>Dean Lynn Williams </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Psychology, IUSB </li></ul><ul><li>Sara Unsworth, San Diego State University </li></ul><ul><li>Sean Duffy, Rutgers University </li></ul><ul><li>That’s right - You! </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Bag Lady
    4. 6. APS (May, 2007)
    5. 7. Is there a relationship between environmental attitudes and sustainable behaviors?
    6. 8. Think of nature…
    7. 13. Connection to Nature <ul><li>Like bears, humans are part of nature. </li></ul><ul><li>We evolved and have spent 99% of human history as hunter gatherers in natural environments </li></ul><ul><li>It would be surprising if humans were not intimately connected to nature </li></ul><ul><li>But what does it mean to be connected to nature? </li></ul>
    8. 14. Connection to Nature <ul><li>One school of thought: Connection to nature mediates pro-environmental behavior and action (Schultz, Mayer & Franz) </li></ul><ul><li>Developed an implicit association task (IAT) that measures connection with nature. </li></ul><ul><li>IAT measures implicit attitudes – those that one cannot (or choose not) to verbalize. </li></ul><ul><li>For instance, do you believe that men make better doctors and women make better secretaries? </li></ul>
    9. 15. Women Men On the next several slides you will see typical male and female names. If the name is female, tap your left hand on the desk. If the name is male, tap your right hand on the desk .
    10. 16. Women Men John
    11. 17. Women Men Robert
    12. 18. Women Men Jane
    13. 19. Women Men Michael
    14. 20. Women Men Jennifer
    15. 21. Women Men Mary
    16. 22. Women Men Karen
    17. 23. Women Men Bill
    18. 24. Women Men Thomas
    19. 25. Women Men Kate
    20. 26. Career Family On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles. If the word is career, tap your left hand on the desk. If the word is home, tap your right hand on the desk.
    21. 27. Career Family management
    22. 28. Career Family relatives
    23. 29. Career Family professional
    24. 30. Career Family corporation
    25. 31. Career Family marriage
    26. 32. Career Family children
    27. 33. Career Family career
    28. 34. Career Family parents
    29. 35. Career Family salary
    30. 36. Career Family home
    31. 37. Career Family office
    32. 38. Career Family business
    33. 39. Career Family family
    34. 40. Career Family wedding
    35. 41. Block A
    36. 42. Career or Male Family or Female On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles, as well as names. Please categorize as you did before.
    37. 43. Career or Male management Family or Female
    38. 44. Career or Male children Family or Female
    39. 45. Career or Male John Family or Female
    40. 46. Career or Male Michael Family or Female
    41. 47. Career or Male relatives Family or Female
    42. 48. Career or Male office Family or Female
    43. 49. Career or Male Karen Family or Female
    44. 50. Career or Male corporation Family or Female
    45. 51. Career or Male marriage Family or Female
    46. 52. Career or Male Mary Family or Female
    47. 53. Career or Male parents Family or Female
    48. 54. Career or Male career Family or Female
    49. 55. Career or Male Jennifer Family or Female
    50. 56. Career or Male salary Family or Female
    51. 57. Career or Male professional Family or Female
    52. 58. Career or Male business Family or Female
    53. 59. Career or Male Bill Family or Female
    54. 60. Career or Male family Family or Female
    55. 61. Career or Male Jane Family or Female
    56. 62. Career or Male home Family or Female
    57. 63. Career or Male Robert Family or Female
    58. 64. Career or Male Kate Family or Female
    59. 65. Career or Male wedding Family or Female
    60. 66. Career or Male Thomas Family or Female
    61. 67. Block B
    62. 68. Career or Female Family or Male On the next several slides you will see typical career and family roles, as well as names. Please categorize as you did before
    63. 69. Career or Female management Family or Male
    64. 70. Career or Female children Family or Male
    65. 71. Career or Female John Family or Male
    66. 72. Career or Female Michael Family or Male
    67. 73. Career or Female relatives Family or Male
    68. 74. Career or Female office Family or Male
    69. 75. Career or Female Karen Family or Male
    70. 76. Career or Female corporation Family or Male
    71. 77. Career or Female marriage Family or Male
    72. 78. Career or Female Mary Family or Male
    73. 79. Career or Female parents Family or Male
    74. 80. Career or Female career Family or Male
    75. 81. Career or Female Jennifer Family or Male
    76. 82. Career or Female salary Family or Male
    77. 83. Career or Female professional Family or Male
    78. 84. Career or Female business Family or Male
    79. 85. Career or Female Bill Family or Male
    80. 86. Career or Female family Family or Male
    81. 87. Career or Female Jane Family or Male
    82. 88. Career or Female home Family or Male
    83. 89. Career or Female Robert Family or Male
    84. 90. Career or Female Kate Family or Male
    85. 91. Career or Female wedding Family or Male
    86. 92. Career or Female Thomas Family or Male
    87. 93. Which was easier? <ul><li>Block A or Block B? </li></ul><ul><li>For most people – even those who say they believe in equal working rights, block A is easier than Block B. </li></ul>
    88. 94. Implicit connection to nature <ul><li>Schultz et al. (2004) developed a ‘connection to nature IAT’ </li></ul><ul><li>Relative speed of categorizing SELF (I, me my, mine, myself) and NOT ME (it, they, them, their, other) with NATURE and BUILT words </li></ul><ul><li>Found people overwhelmingly connected to nature </li></ul>
    89. 98. <ul><li>If people have a “primitive” belief that favors nature over the built environment, then stimulus valence should have no effect on people’s implicit connections to nature. </li></ul><ul><li>We hypothesized, however, that emotional connotations derived from words influence people’s connection to nature. </li></ul>Connection to Nature IAT
    90. 99. <ul><li>Original Items </li></ul><ul><li>NATURE: animals, birds, plants, whales, trees </li></ul><ul><li>BUILT: building, car, city, factory, street </li></ul><ul><li>New Test Items </li></ul><ul><li>NATURE: beach, dove, fish, flower, river; bees, fungus, manure, snake, thorn </li></ul><ul><li>BUILT: bed, clothing, house, toy, trophy; bullet, cellar, coffin, needle, tomb </li></ul>Undergraduates from Rutgers University participated in one of three IAT experiments: 1 - Connection to nature IAT using original stimulus items 2 - IAT using positive nature and negative built items 3 - IAT using negative nature and positive built items
    91. 100. Results (Verges & Duffy, in press, Environment and Behavior ) -200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200 Standard Nature IAT Positive Nature IAT Negative Nature IAT Stronger connection to nature Stronger connection to built
    92. 101. <ul><li>Methodological point: Able to replicate prior findings regarding people’s implicit connections with nature </li></ul><ul><li>Extended those findings to reveal a tendency to implicitly associate oneself to positive aspects of the built and natural environments </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual information may be a factor when considering people’s association with nature… </li></ul>
    93. 102. Oh, the weather outside is frightful! <ul><li>If valence moderates implicit connection with nature, might emotional associations of nature influence connectedness as well? </li></ul><ul><li>In temperate climates, it is COLD during the winter, and mild during autumn and spring. </li></ul><ul><li>Spring is known for its pastel of flowers, autumn for its golden leaves, winter for its grayish browns? </li></ul>
    94. 103. Oh, the weather outside is frightful! <ul><li>People spend time in nature during spring and autumn, but less so in winter. </li></ul><ul><li>In winter people are protected from nature by coats that try to keep nature at bay. </li></ul><ul><li>Might there be seasonal and meteorological variations regarding connection to nature? </li></ul><ul><li>To test this, we ran the Schultz et al. (2004) from October to April, keeping track of weather and precipitation. </li></ul>
    95. 104. Stronger connection with nature Stronger connection with built (Duffy & Verges, under review, Journal of Environmental Psychology )
    96. 105. Stronger connection with nature Stronger connection with built (Duffy & Verges, under review, Journal of Environmental Psychology )
    97. 106. <ul><li>Stronger evidence for contextual factors and connectedness with nature </li></ul><ul><li>In layman’s terms, people seem to be “fair-weather friends” regarding their association with nature </li></ul><ul><li>Findings bear implications regarding current views on connectedness with nature. But do these findings have anything to say about conservation behaviors? </li></ul>
    98. 107. Without bribing, forcing, telling, or relying on spurious emotions, how can we reliably improve pro-environmental behaviors?
    99. 108. Started noticing a pattern...
    100. 109. Started noticing a pattern...
    101. 110. Control condition   Experimental condition
    102. 113. Results (Duffy & Verges, in press, Environment and Behavior )
    103. 114. Results
    104. 115. <ul><li>The design of the environment profoundly shapes behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Not just limited to recycling...we can design environments that may afford myriad behaviors (i.e., streets that afford not getting lost, buildings that afford efficient work...) </li></ul><ul><li>It is hard to change people’s attitudes or beliefs, but one can tacitly affect behavior by building better environments. </li></ul>
    105. 116. Thank You!

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