Book

Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Thomas A. Heberlein

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199773329
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979639 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773329.001.0001
Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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The environment, and how humans affect it, is more of a concern now than ever. We are constantly told that halting climate change requires raising awareness, changing attitudes, and finally altering behaviors among the general public—and doing it fast. New information, attitudes, and actions, it is conventionally assumed, will necessarily follow one from the other. However, this approach ignores much of what is known about attitudes in general and environmental attitudes in particular—a huge gap lies between what we say and what we do. Solving environmental problems requires a scientific understanding of public attitudes. Like rocks in a swollen river, attitudes often lie beneath the surface—hard to see, and even harder to move or change. This book helps us read the water and negotiate its hidden obstacles, explaining what attitudes are, how they change and influence behavior. Rather than trying to change attitudes, we need to design solutions and policies with attitudes in mind. Heberlein illustrates these points by tracing the attitudes of the well-known environmentalist Aldo Leopold, while tying social psychology to real-world behaviors throughout the book. Bringing together theory and practice, this book provides a realistic understanding of why and how attitudes matter when it comes to environmental problems; and how, by balancing natural with social science, we can step back from false assumptions and unproductive, frustrating programs to work toward fostering successful, effective environmental action.

Keywords: attitudes; attitude change; energy conservation; global warming; interdisciplinary; littering; norm activation; pro-environmental behavior; three fixes; wolves

Book.  240 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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Table of Contents

Attitudes, Rivers, and Environmental Fixes in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Reading Water and Minds in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Attitude Change in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Attitudes Are <i>Not</i> Everything in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Educating the Public … and Other Disasters in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Norms in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Aldo Leopold and the Flying Horse in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Avoiding the Cognitive Fix Keeper Hole in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Going with the Flow in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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Increasing the Flow in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

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