Canadian Forest Service Publications

The role of social psychological and social structural variables in environmental activism: an example of the forest sector. 2003. McFarlane, B.L.; Boxall, P.C. Journal of Environmental Psychology 23: 79-87.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 22830

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Dissatisfaction with natural resource management and policy is often manifested by engagement in activist behaviors aimed at influencing management and policy decisions. A study was undertaken to examine the relationship between value orientation, attitudes, knowledge, social structural and socialization variables, and environmental activism within the context of a cognitive hierarchy model. Data were collected from the general population of Alberta, Canada by mail survey in 1999. Support was found for a cognitive hierarchy model with value orientation being better predictors of attitudes than social structural or socialization variables. Attitudes toward forest management were associated with activism. Belonging to an environmental organization, however, was a better predictor of activism than social psychological or social structural variables. This suggests the need for a more complete model of activism that considers the interplay between social-psychological variables and macro factors such as the environmental movement in shaping attitudes and engagement in activist behaviors.