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Navigating Environmental Attitudes$
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Thomas A. Heberlein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773329.001.0001

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Attitudes Are Not Everything

Attitudes Are Not Everything

(p.53) 4 Attitudes Are Not Everything
Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Thomas A. Heberlein

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the second assumption of the cognitive fix, that attitudes have a direct influence on what people actually do (not what they say they might do or would like to do). Research shows that attitudes are often not related to behavior. For example, after Leopold changed his attitude toward wolves, he voted to restore bounties on them. Circumstance, like powerful currents, can keep us from going in the direction we would like. Positive attitudes are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for pro-environmental behaviors. More specific attitudes exert greater influence than general pro-environmental attitudes, and attitudes based on direct experience also are more likely to influence our behavior.

Keywords:   Aldo Leopold, attitude-behavior cognitive fix, direct experience, specificity, wolves

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