Attitudes Are <i>Not</i> Everything

Thomas A. Heberlein

in Navigating Environmental Attitudes

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199773329
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979639 | DOI:
Attitudes Are Not Everything

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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

Chapter.  7147 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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