Connectedness and Environmental Behavior: Sense of Interconnectedness and Pro-Environmental Behavior
Originally Published In
International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
The expansion of one’s sense of identity to include various aspects of the world, both human and non-human, may relate to how one treats the world. This sense of interconnectedness can be domain specific, as through identification with nature and the future, or very general, as through an expanded transpersonal identification with all of reality unlimited by time and space. This study explored the relationship between these two specific and the more general type of interconnectedness on environmental beliefs and behavior. A sample of 210 participants completed a battery of interconnectedness measures, including two specific measures, the Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS) and Consideration of Future Consequences Scale (CFC), and a transpersonal measure, the Self-Expansiveness Level Form Transpersonal Scale (SELF-TS). Participants also completed a measure of environmental beliefs, the New Ecological Paradigm Scale (NEP), and a self-report measure of their environmental behavior. The CNS, CFC, and SELF-TS significantly intercorrelated, supporting that they measure a common underlying construct: interconnectedness. In addition, the CNS and CFC correlated significantly with both the NEP and environmental behavior, but the SELF-TS did not. Furthermore, the CNS and the CFC, as well as their interaction, predicted environmental behavior in a regression model, while the SELF-TS did not. These results suggest that specific indicators of feeling interconnected with nature and the future are relevant to environmental beliefs and behavior, whereas a broader sense of transpersonal interconnectedness may not relate as well in this specific domain.