Perceived Vulnerability to Disease Predicts Environmental Attitudes
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Trnava University & Institute of Zoology, SLOVAKIA
Masaryk University, CZECH REPUBLIC
Publication date: 2014-12-15
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2014;10(1):3–11
Investigating predictors of environmental attitudes may bring valuable benefits in terms of improving public awareness about biodiversity degradation and increased pro-environmental behaviour. Here we used an evolutionary approach to study environmental attitudes based on disease-threat model. We hypothesized that people vulnerable to diseases may ultimately protect themselves by increasing pro-environmental efforts. Indeed, school children who perceived themselves to be vulnerable to diseases had better pro-environmental attitudes than their less disease vulnerable counterparts. Disease sensitive children showed greater beliefs to myths about owls and cuckoos, but myths did not correlate with environmental attitudes. Children from rural areas and girls showed greater environmental concerns than males and children from cities. Only scientistic attitudes toward owls showed correlations with environmental attitudes which suggests that attitudes toward animals show no strong associations with environmental concerns as was implicitly suggested in previous studies. Overall, our study showed that an evolutionary approach can be applied to investigate the nature of inter-personal differences in environmental attitudes in humans.