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The NEP scale: measuring ecological attitudes/worldviews in an African context

Abstract

Given the significance of human behavior as a major driver of most environmental problems, it is generally agreed that efforts to promote global ecological and economic sustainability must now include attempts to understand public perceptions of, and attitudes toward, environmental issues. Research findings generally indicate that attitudes are important determinants of ecological behaviors, and over time, scientists have strived to develop sound measurement instruments for studying public environmental attitudes. Of these attitude measures, the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale stands out as being the most widely accepted with documented validity and reliability. In this study, the NEP scale was used to examine environmental attitudes among 355 university students in Ibadan, Nigeria. Overall, the Nigerian students were found to have a lower endorsement of the pro-ecological ideologies included in the NEP compared with similar samples from other cultural contexts. However, a strong consensus was observed among the sample on the fragility of nature’s balance and possibility of eco-crisis facets of the NEP. The findings of the study are discussed in the context of relevant Nigerian social and cultural factors, and recommendations for future research are provided.

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Acknowledgments

The author would like to acknowledge Kate Arnold and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and immensely helpful comments on previous drafts of this article.

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Correspondence to Charles A. Ogunbode.

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Ogunbode, C.A. The NEP scale: measuring ecological attitudes/worldviews in an African context. Environ Dev Sustain 15, 1477–1494 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-013-9446-0

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Keywords

  • New Ecological Paradigm
  • Environmental attitudes
  • Nigeria