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The complex role of attitudes toward science in pro-environmental consumption in the Nordic countries
- Vainio, Annukka, Paloniemi, Riikka
- Ecological economics 2014 v.108 pp. 18-27
- adults, attitudes and opinions, structural equation modeling, surveys, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Scandinavia, Sweden
- Applying system justification theory, we studied the role of attitudes toward science in pro-environmental consumption among the adult population of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). We analyzed International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) data from 2010 using structural equation modeling (SEM). Attitudes toward science were found to play a complex role in pro-environmental consumption. First, a positive general attitude toward science was indirectly associated with pro-environmental consumption through increased environmental concern and knowledge. Second, the belief that science makes pro-environmental behavior unnecessary was indirectly associated with the avoidance of pro-environmental consumption through reduced environmental concern and knowledge. When these indirect associations were taken into account, a positive general attitude toward science was directly associated with the avoidance of pro-environmental behavior, and the belief that science makes pro-environmental behavior unnecessary was directly associated with increased pro-environmental consumption. The associations between the main variables were similar in all Nordic countries. These results increase our understanding about the ways in which attitudes toward science are related to pro-environmental consumption.