Measuring “Awareness of Environmental Consequences”: Two Scales and Two Interpretations
Moderate or poor reliabilities, worrisome correlation patterns and ambiguous dimensionality raise questions about the awareness of consequences scale being a valid measure of egoistic, social-altruistic and biospheric value orientations. These results may, however, indicate something else. An exploratory analysis performed on three samples collected from the general public provides evidence for a reinterpretation of the scale. We believe the concepts of egoistic, social and biospheric value orientations remain important as a potential explanation of behaviour. However, our results imply that whether people cognitively organise their beliefs in this way when considering adverse environmental consequences requires a different approach from the current awareness of consequences scale. The evidence shows the current scale must be reinterpreted as a measure of concern over the positive and negative consequences of environmental action and inaction.
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