A Masters Thesis In Psychology at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, in 1991back
We have abundant evidence that the quality of our environment is severely threatened, and in many areas subject to rapid irreversible degradation right now. The abatement of this process urgently requires a strong commitment to Environmentally Sound Behaviours (ESB), of both the general public and the economic and political decision-makers.
The future is a fiction, since it does not yet exist, and the past is memory. But past experiences should guide our conduct in the present, so that our children and grandchildren may enjoy their presence on Earth. In our culture this can be seen as our parental responsibility toward our offspring. Our motivation and our choices of action or inaction will determine the outcome of our environmental efforts.
Increased understanding of motivation, circumstances, and processes which have led to a change in environmental behaviour in the past should benefit environmental protection at present. Study results could be used in environmental education, for the promotion of specific ESB's, and for devising effective environmental policies in general. More insight into ecology and motivation could lead to a rethinking of educational principles and practices. Eventually, this could result in the creation of social and political contexts that foster and support environmentally caring attitudes and behaviour generally.
My study deals with the relationships between the factual causes and processes of environmental degradation, our motives and motivation for environmental protection, and the environmental benefits of our actions to protect the environment. Thus this thesis
Free-flowing interviews were used to investigate environmental motivation, embedded in the general motivational processes of human interaction. For the purpose of this study, environmental motivation is defined as motivation to care for the environment.
The following six sections deal with the state of the environment (ecology and economy), motivation, environmental education, environmentally sensitive behaviour, basic
questions and aims, and methodology. Literature reviews have been integrated into each section as appropriate.
The State of the Environment, Ecology, and Economy
In large, our environment is the Earth, which we share with other peoples, animals, and plants, in complex interdependent relationships. By general physical standards, our life is confined to and depends on this Earth. This means that growth of one species leads to less room for both the growing kind and for others. Eventually, growth is limited by finite room. In the short term, growth leads to conflict with other living beings, since we compete for the same resources. The industrial activities of humankind and the population pressure have led presently to a wide-scale destruction of the natural environment, serious ecological disturbance, and a wasteful economy, as outlined below.
The next three subsections provide a personal baseline for assessment and interpretation of environmental behaviours, opinions, and perceptions of interviewees.
The State of the Environment
Mass media and scientific press provide detailed accounts of environmental degradation and destruction, and the availability of resources (for instance: 19801; World Resources 1988-89, 19902). The major environmental problems, with some of their causes, can be summarised as:
Two primary problems, which are caused by westernised human activity and a rapidly increasing human population:
1. The poisoning of our biosphere by air, soil, and water pollution, because of industrial processes and wastes, including all military and 'civil' use of nuclear technology, and the wastes from our consumer products, from television to toothpaste and tourism.
1 The Global 2000 Report to the President of the U.S., Entering the 21st Century: a report.
2 World Resources 1988-89: A report by the World Resources Institute and The International Institute of Environment and Development, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program.
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2. Desertification and global warming by deforestation, over-grazing, over-fishing, excessive water usage, unrestrained construction of roads and large cities, over-population, and over-consumption.
Several secondary problems:
3. Ecological unbalance, leading to extinction of animal and plant species, including unintended genocide of 'primitive' tribes, because of the reduction of wilderness areas, by means of pesticides, improper usage of air, land, and water, and so on.
4. Depletion of those material resources (biological and mineral) that are required to maintain our present Western lifestyle.
5. General decrease of health, such as the increase of illnesses like asthma and cancer, which may well be due to synergetic effects of pollution and Western lifestyle.
6. Uninterrupted destructive trends, which could eventually culminate in a man-to-man battle for the last uncontaminated resources and the bare essentials for human survival.
It should be noted that scarcity of energy is not an environmental problem for the Earth as an entity. On the contrary, the flourishing of life and accumulation of fossil energy has only been possible because of the Earth's positive energy exchange balance. It is the present abundance of both fossil and human energy that has allowed our industrial activities to reach this global scale of technological destructiveness. It is only in our age that the increasing demands of our civilisation, exponential since the beginning of the industrial revolution, have led to a perceived secondary shortage of energy.
Hoping for a break-through in technology or for a new energy source, can be compared with praying for the arrival of a plumber to unblock the drain and install a bigger tap at the same time, while watching the bathtub running over instead of closing the tap oneself. Recycling, electric cars, or genetic engineering, for instance, and technology in general, represent no real solutions. They are more or less dangerous illusions since they tend to deal with secondary problems only, and are often no more than a displacement of the problems over time, to other areas, and into other forms (for instance: 19913). Recently, a break-through in nuclear fusion was hailed, for example. However, the fusion process generates radioactivity, and depends on Tritium which must be produced by nuclear fission (19914). Nuclear fusion using this procedure is as dangerous and environmentally unacceptable as nuclear fission, if it becomes commercially available in fifty years, if at all.
3 Ist Alu-Recycling sinnvoll oder nicht? (Is aluminium recycling sensible or not?). Tages Anzeiger.
4 Wesentlich komplexer und gleich gefŠhrlich wie AKW (Much more complex, and equally dangerous as atomic power stations). Basler Zeitung.
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Technological solutions maintain our global dependence on fossil and generated energy, while many millions of jobless people are available with physical man- and woman-power. With a daily energy intake of 0.12 kW (19855), less2/3 for basic metabolism (19906), the available human-power is 1 kWh per adult per day. New Zealand's daily energy consumption was nearly 3 x 108 kWh (19797). With a population of roughly 3 million, this meant that every person accounted for a 100 kWh energy consumption per day, for industrial production, traffic, and so on. This is a 100 times more energy than a person has available for physical work. Therefore, a change to manual labour will both decrease our energy-dependence and create full-employment.
De-industrialisation will reduce industrial and private pollution, since ultimately any activity is for human needs, whatever these needs are.
5 The Cambridge Guide to the Material World.
6 Introductory Nutrition.
7 Resources & Technology Sustainability. (New Zealand in the future world).
Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The global politics of population control and contraceptive choice.
Page 13 - Introduction – Ecology
In view of the above, a real solution for our environmental problems can only be found in a drastic reduction of our private and industrial waste producing activities of all forms, including energy use, that is by means of de-industrialisation. Simultaneously, the creation of worldwide equitable economic structures and conditions of trade, and the improvement of the status of women should lead to a reduced procreation, and result in a stabilisation and ultimately a reduction of the population pressure (for instance: 19878; IUCN/UNEP/WWF, 19919; 197510, 198411; 198612).
Many people in academic and in lay circles agree that the Earth is endangered.
If Brown and others (Brown et al., 198714) distinguished between 'the Earth' (or parts of it) and 'the Earth itself' (that is the whole Earth), this could lead to the conclusion that
The belief in growth and sustainable development can lead to the construction of a road, for instance, even though we admit that this does not only impair the habitability of the area but will actually destroy the habitat of certain species. (1991, 35) described one example of such an un-eco-logical development. Based on an Environmental Sustainability Examination which is obligatory by law, the Swiss Canton of Baselland recently concluded that a new piece of motorway will be sustainable. Yet the same examination clearly stated that the planned road will have a heavy impact on an area that provides room for a number of threatened plants and animals, and will probably lead to the extinction of two rare species of birds. This means that the extinction of species in the area concerned is accepted, probably assuming the continuing availability of unimpaired areas elsewhere for compensation. The official expectation was that the planned road will lead to a five percent increase of car traffic and a further decrease of the air quality, in a region where the present level of exhaust gases already exceeds the legal limits (De Marchi, 1991, 35). This example represents the belief, for example, that it is alright to poison the air with exhaust gases, as long as these are blown away across the borders of our land, and enough fresh air is blown in from elsewhere. Two days after De Marchi's article, the same major newspaper printed another whole page article on the environment, this time about the Swiss and other European forests, which are damaged and dying because of acid rain. In Western Europe, acid rain is caused by the exhaust gases of heating, industry, and transport, each contributing one third approximately. The car is not only directly responsible for one third of the exhaust gases, but also for a whole chain of environmental destruction connected with its production, use, and disposal, such as industrial pollution, roads, and accidents. Therefore the car can clearly be regarded as the pest of the twentieth century ( 1980).
Promoting development and growth in spite of contra-indications means that we continue our lifestyle, while we provide temporary solutions for secondary problems. Sustainable development means development that seems sustainable for us, based on the assumption of continuous availability of resources elsewhere. & may unwittingly have verbalised an eco-logical crisis, a crisis in environmental studies that may expose its efforts to serve two masters, both the environment and established interests. Recognition may come that the Earth is a limited space and that by sheer logic growth will stop.
The prevalent ideologies in society and in Economics profess economic growth almost unanimously as the basic economic principle, in spite of the environmental consequences. However, "not only is economic growth not necessarily good, but by definition it is environmentally bad" ( et al., 1990, p. 57). From a viewpoint of conventional economical principles, the Club of Rome has been instrumental in creating awareness of the Limits to Growth ( 1972). Our economy seems captured by the notion that full employment must be maintained. Therefore things have to be produced, with little regard for the environmental costs, as long as jobs are created and someone has a financial profit. People who adhere to this technological economy tend to think of workplaces as extensions of capital- and energy-intensive labour-saving machinery. Ultimately this practice creates unemployment for common people, and some jobs for a high-skilled elite. This reality has not changed since the days of the English textile machine wreckers of 1779 and 1811, and is equally valid for the task facilitating technology for housework: technology creates unemployment. For a country as a whole, as well as for the individual school or factory, it is questionable whether competition really produces a higher benefit than working with a spirit of cooperation ( 1986; 1990). For the environment it will be better if we focus on the distribution of the available goods, instead of following a growth policy that does not produce one of its professed goals, full employment, anyway.
Modern economics hardly distinguishes between renewable and non-renewable materials. Everything is equalised and quantified by a money price, and the cheapest is automatically the one to be preferred ( 1974, 186). Thus we produce, consume, and discard a multitude of products that are not basically necessary, and/or could be produced in an environmentally sounder fashion. Industrial production creates waste, all along the line, from design through manufacturing to sales, distribution, and the use and dumping of its products. This includes production and consumption in the services sector, and leisure time activities such as holidays, sport, or audio-video-tv.
The English Readers' definition below reveals the controversial notions of economy:
 (instance of) avoidance of waste of money, strength, or anything else of value;
 control and management of the money, goods, and other resources of a community, society, or household (Hornby & Parnwell, 1969).
et al. (1989) define Economics as the study of the production and consumption of wealth in human society, but do not have Economy as an entry. Neither has the four volume New Palgrave ( et al., 1987). Our economy can certainly be called a 'wastonomy'. In a real economy, wherein resources are used as economically as possible, we will do the maximum to avoid wasting of energy and raw materials. We will make goods with the longest possible lifetime, fit to be repaired when needed. We will avoid throw-away articles and all sorts of plastic-ware, some of which will deteriorate within a few years. In a real economy, we will possibly work along the lines proposed by (1980):
Environmental management; is not "management of the environment" - it is management of activities within tolerable constraints imposed by the environment itself, and with full consideration of ecological factors. The objective is to meet basic human needs within the potentials and constraints of environmental systems. Environmental management introduces three new dimensions into the traditional socio-economic system:
(a) it broadens the concept of environmental management in scope, to include development and enhancement of environmental quality;
(b) it extends the concept into time, to include sustainable long-term feasibility; and
(c) it assesses the costs to society and the environment in achieving the desired balance between (a) and (b) (Beale, 1980, p. 20, original italics).
We need a steady-state society and should aim for negative growth, or economic and demographic contraction ( 1988). At the end of a paper and discussion on Economy and Ecology on 29.8.91 at the Regional Resource Futures conference in , who immediately followed my suggestion that he take off his tie, recognising that we can cut down on unnecessary luxuries. Personally, taking off my tie has also been a symbolical act of untieing myself from the restraints of the current techno-commercial thinking patterns.
The above discussion can only represent a basic impression of my notions on environment, ecology, and economy. Although there is much literature on the intimate connections between environmental and social catastrophes, the ethical and moral aspects were deliberately excluded, since they depend on values. My point is that abundant proof is available that the Earth is actually being damaged, and in some areas already beyond repair, by incessant human activity. Therefore, if we want to preserve our environment as we know and value it, we require a change in our activities. In order to alleviate our environmental impact on Earth, we need to dDe-industrialisation and reducing population pressure will alleviate our environmental impact on Earth.
Since I am the centre of my world, I chose to explore motivation in the first instance by means of introspection, and from my own perspective on the world. The next step was to relate my understanding to the notions of others and try to find a common pattern of human motivation. I acknowledge that my introspection and observations are restricted and biased by my origin and standpoint within the framework of social conditions and culture wherein I grew up and live. Much research and theory in Psychology is focused on the 'other', and thus taking a position of authority. I am conscious of my belonging to the others. I will include myself, and try to avoid the authority position.
The next three subsections outline aspects of motivation and happiness, adult motivation and change, and environmental motivation and ethics.
Motivation and Happiness
Motivation has been called an extremely important but definitionally elusive term ( 1985, 454). This leaves me some freedom. I would define motivation as anything which (that which) moves me psychologically, that is what incites me to behave, to be active or to rest, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Motivation can originate from my internal physical and psychological states, my thoughts, and/or from a perception of my surroundings.
the process of initiating, sustaining, and directing psychological or physical activities; also my internal force (impulse, drive, desire) that is involved in this process. Motives may operate on a conscious or unconscious level, and are frequently divided into (a) physiological, primary, or organic, or (such as hunger and elimination), and (b) personal and social, or secondary (affiliation, competition, and individual interests and goals) (Goldenson 1985, 472).
Although one is inclined to focus on activities, it is important to note that the result of motivation can be inaction, as well as action. For example, when a person is pursued or afraid, this may lead to hiding and physical inactivity. When we are afraid to destroy our environment we may choose to become inactive and leave the environment alone.
Motives for action or inaction can be considered as the <conscious or subconscious reasons for behaviour that drives direct a person's energies toward a goal>. In my view, the goal of life is life itself, and needs no religious explanation. Life wants to continue and procreate and therefore we may assume that originally any behaviour must have been functional for life and survival ( 1975, 1985; 1978). Basic life sustaining behaviours are curiosity, caution, and adaptive behaviour. In a social context, adaptive behaviour means that the young first mimic and copy, later consciously learn from the old ( 1977; 1963), and develop life goals ( & Ansbacher
1956). Between animals, including humans, of the same age and the same group, adaptive behaviour is frequently reciprocal and cooperative toward the out-group ( 1961; 1950/1942, cited in 1984). Even the two goldfish which I observed frequently over the last months, almost always stood in each other's vicinity, at an angle of 60 degrees in their shallow pond. In this way, together they had an optimum view of their surroundings; they were aware of each other and ready to move when one saw a 'reason' for it.
From these principles I draw the important conclusion that love, care, cooperation, empathy, joy, play, sharing, and, of course, sexuality, have innate functional origins, serving the sustenance of the kind, and thus represent our basic motivational inclinations. In other words, pro-social behaviour is a natural, that is an inborn tendency (for example: 1982; & 1977). The quest for independence and autonomous power can equally be seen as basic biological requirements, and the ways in which they are expressed in our society can be seen as culturally conditioned.
Basically, life has reached its goal after it has 'done-enough', which is the literal meaning of 'satisfaction'. This state can be related to a feeling of content, probably originally in its verbal meaning of having a full stomach. Our present-day human motivation and relationships can be related to these biological origins. The origins or causes of our culturally conditioned behaviours lie in a distant and almost inaccessible past.
If we were to ask the question: 'What is human life's chief concern?' one of the answers we should receive would be: 'It is happiness.' How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all things they are willing to endure. [...] and, even more in the religious life than in the moral life, happiness and unhappiness seem to be the poles round which the interest revolves. [...] it is perhaps not surprising that men come to regard the happiness which a religious belief affords as a proof of its truth. If a creed makes a man feel happy, he almost inevitably adopts it (James, 1952  p. 77).
And what is happiness? Possibly because of its elusiveness, only one of the dictionaries of psychology and psychiatry that I consulted defined the term:
Happiness: a state of joyful well-being and satisfaction ( 1984)
One general dictionary provided further indications as to how this state could be attained:
Happiness [É2.] The state of pleasurable content of mind, which results from success or attainment of what is considered good;
Happy [É4.a.] Having a feeling of great pleasure or content of mind, arising from satisfaction with one's circumstances or condition; also in weakened sense: Glad, pleased (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1989).
So far, I have found that people 'strive for happiness', which is a 'state of content of mind', and which results from 'success or the attainment of what is considered good'. Thus motivation seems to be individual in its means of attainment, but universal in its resulting state of content of mind.
Since language is intimately connected with attitudes and behaviours, it offers cues to psychological questions. My choice of words, while trying to approach the essence of happiness, is revealing. The question how this state could be achieved is paradoxical. It reminded me of a koan, an impossible task or question in Zen Buddhism. A paradox is a statement which seems to say something opposite to the truth but may contain a truth (Hornby & Parnwell, 1969). How can I achieve a state, which means resting, if I have to move, do something to get there? My question is also culturally biased, because of its preoccupation with achievement.
Sigmund Freud's theories can be criticised, but his achievements can still be valued ( 1980). His descriptions of the development of the psyche provide an explanatory basis for discussing authoritarian relationships and motivation. Freud placed his theory clearly in a social context of the real life of his era, and since it may be a chance and a privilege to read his vivid language, Freud should explain his view on the relationships of ego, id, super-ego, and the world entirely in his own words:
We are warned by a proverb against serving two masters at the same time. The poor ego has things even worse: it serves three severe masters and does what it can to bring their claims and demands into harmony with one another. These claims are always divergent and often seem incompatible. No wonder that the ego so often fails its task. Its three tyrannical masters are the external world, the super-ego, and the id. When we follow the ego's efforts to satisfy them simultaneously – or rather, to obey them simultaneously – we cannot feel any regret at having personified this ego and having set it up as a separate organism. It feels hemmed in on three sides, threatened by three kinds of danger, to which, if it is hard pressed, it reacts by generating anxiety. Owing to its origin from the experiences of the perceptual system, it is earmarked for representing the demands of the external world, but it strives too to be a loyal servant of the id, to remain on good terms with it, to recommend itself to it as an object and to attract its libido to itself. In its attempts to mediate between the id and reality, it is often obliged to cloak the unconscious commands of the id with its own preconscious rationalisations, to conceal the id's conflicts with reality, to profess, with diplomatic disingeneousness, to be taking notice of reality even if the id has remained rigid and unyielding. On the other hand it is observed at every step it takes by the strict super-ego, which lays down definite standards for its conduct, without taking any account of its difficulties from the direction of the id and the external world, and which, if those standards are not obeyed, punishes with tense feelings of inferiority and guilt. Thus the ego, driven by the id, confined by the super-ego, repulsed by reality, struggles to master its economic task of bringing about harmony among those forces and influences working in and upon it; and we can understand how it is that so often we cannot suppress a cry: ’Life is not easy!Õ If the ego is obliged to admit its weakness, it breaks out in anxiety – realistic anxiety regarding the external world, moral anxiety regarding the super-ego and neurotic anxiety regarding the strength of the passion in the id (Freud, 1961 , Works 22, pp. 77-78).
One can wonder in how far 's description reflects his time and age, and how much of it we can recognise in our own societal situation, at the end of this century. I would say that little has changed. Paradoxically, our present-day capitalist society seems to prove the case of another influential thinker, Karl , who wrote in 1859:
The general result at which I arrived and which, once won, served as a guiding thread for my studies, can be briefly formulated as follows: in the social production of life, men enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material productive forces. The sum of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their social being, but, on the contrary their social being that determines their consciousness. At a certain state of their development, the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or - what is but a legal expression for the same thing - with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto (Marx & , 1955, p. 362, cited in Fromm, 1966, pp. 17-18, italics added).
<This concept was developed in conscious opposition to the subjective-idealist standpoint of those 'young Hegelianswho aimed to transform social and political conditions through a mere change in consciousness> ( et al., 1983, 309). Our Western ideology confirms Marx's concept that our material conditions are of primary importance for well-being and happiness, even if we only sell and buy the feelings. At this point it may be noted that the male part of our society does much of the selling and buying, whereas the women do much of the basic work of primary production and maintenance, at much less material compensation (for instance: & 1978; 1989).
Fairy tales usually end with "É and they both lived happily ever after". Surprisingly, this is an early acknowledgement that it takes two, that we are not isolated individuals but strive for happiness in a social context. 'Lived happily' means living in a happy way. With a glance across our cultural fence to the Tao Te Ching (Lao Tsu, 1982), this can lead to the understanding that happiness lies in the very way of living itself. The Tao, the way itself, is the journey.
As we do not live in paradise, we will have to work, or at least pick the fruit and take it to the mouth before we can enjoy its taste. This illustrates the original intimate connection between work and life. In our cultural setting our work and life spheres are frequently separated ( 1989, pp. 128-130). One guidance for conduct on our way could be to treat others as we expect them to treat us, a principle which is found in most religions :
Buddhism: "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself." Udana-Varqa.
Christianity: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law of the prophets." Gospel of Matthew.
Hinduism: "This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain." The Mahabharata.
Islam: "No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself." Hadith.
Judaism: "What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary." The Talmud.
Zooastrianism: "That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self." Dadistan-i-Dinik.
(Barnaby, 1988, pp. 158-159).
These principles exclude the ideology of freedom. They include cooperation, reciprocal respect, and love.
So it seems that people strive for peace of mind, a state of inner freedom from controversy. In modern terms, this is the need for consistency between cognition and
behaviour, or reduction of cognitive dissonance ( 1957). How we achieve this state or feeling is a second question. Activity, events, and passivity can all lead to it. But if things did not work according to subjective expectations, the mind often works incessantly till a solution, or sleep, or peace is found. We try to justify our conduct and the passed events. Therefore, at the end of the day, <in my heart, I am accountable only to myself> ( 1984).
This has brought me back, finally, from academic perspectives to introspection. So, what makes me, Helmut Lubbers, happy at the end of the day? Usually I have peace of mind when I have worked it out, do not worry about the past or the future. I feel happy and content when I have enjoyed moments of pleasant relationship with others, or when I have achieved something, reached satisfaction. Yet all this is also culturally determined, influenced by my surroundings, which make me almost forget that my material conditions allow for my comfortable lifestyle: how could I happily write this thesis if I did not have enough money, and a secure place to live?
Recapitulating, if we generally strive for peace of mind and satisfaction, its attainment depends on psychological and physical conditions. We can feel content if we enjoy good human relationships and a reasonable state of material well-being. These goals embody our basic motivation. In other words, it is our basic need for acceptance, both physically and psychologically, without hierarchy. Maslow's hierarchy of needs ( 1943) was scientifically falsified by the observation of infants who die because of lack of attention in a foundling-home ( 1947cited in Haimowitz 1984 = Corsini). Parents intuitively know that a child needs love. In sum, we want life to say Yes! to us.
The next questions are what are the culturally acquired motives of adults, that is the conscious or subsconscious reasons for behaviour that drives direct an adult's energies toward a goal, and how is change achieved>(Goldenson), if desired.
Adult Motivation and Change
Happiness, well-being, being content, were described as states, which is paradoxical. We strive to achieve a state of being that makes us feel well. Then we want to safeguard what we have achieved, maintain the status quo, which is an activity. We value the things we have because of the security they provide, including our beliefs and values. Thus we oppose change since we know what we have and are uncertain about what we could get. It may well be a universal principle of life, needed to protect itself, that the unknown is feared or at least explored cautiously. For this reason it is natural for a child to follow the advice of its parents, and ideally, no coercion is required. The British psychologist Jean (1975) presented an account of a tribe in the Amazon where this could be observed, and the children received the trust and the freedom to develop at their own pace. Ideally, an adult being will have attained the power to stand alone, of course within the societal contingencies of equitable cooperation.
Survival in a given environment does require following examples and certain rules set by the elders. Our Western society, however, has strong authoritarian and hierarchical structures, and sets rigid rules and boundaries for conduct. captured this process well in his model of development. In the animal world the parents unconditionally accept their 'babies' and thrust their 'adolescents' into autonomy. In our human world we frequently practice the opposite habits, although we profess love and freedom.
A child adapts to its environment, learns, and obeys for the simple reason of survival. In this way the 'listening' of a young child can be regarded as a biologically required basic tendency. In our culture, however, this tendency towards obedience is exploited beyond necessity and over an excessive time. We even want to control our offspring beyond our death by means of a last will. Our official religion requests obedience to God, whose rules however, are interpreted by humans. He offers redemption, so that we can stop worrying. In practice this means that we can unload our responsibility, since we do not have to find peace in our own mind, but can happily accept the peace that is offered. Obedience brings material advantages, as well as extrinsic psychological reward in the form of acceptance and praise. It becomes an ingrained habit, which lasts into adulthood and keeps us in a state of dependency. Therefore I conclude that obedience to authority represents the major culturally conditioned motivation for adult behaviour in our society.
It could be that a basic need for independence manifests itself in the ideology of freedom, which is a 'freedom from' authority, rules, and responsibility, not to be confounded with the autonomous 'freedom to'. Our education may well build up a subconscious resistance against any authority, which manifests itself as soon as the opportunity arises. We then tend to indulge in our freedom and forget our duties. Authority in our society is obeyed as long as it is required and enforced, and we find it a safe haven when we need it.
The quest for power over others could be considered as a reaction to the control exerted by these others, with a reciprocal dependence ( 1988). Models such as locus ( 1966) have descriptive, but limited explanatory merits.
Freud, Sigmund; offered insight and advocated a change of locus of control. His psycho-analysis intended:
to strengthen the ego, to make it more independent of the super-ego, to widen its field of perception and enlarge its organisation, so that it can appropriate fresh portions of the id. Where id was, there ego shall be
These famous last words of his Dissection of the Psychical Personality are a declaration for autonomy. combined Freud's quest for psychic autonomy with Karl 's humanist notion of economic self-control, and with a Taoist sense of being for the sake of being. Fromm's To Have or to Be? (1976) explains how people should change from the 'having' to the 'being' mode of living, in order to find autonomous peace of mind, and leave the immature state of dependency behind. We have a natural tendency to stay within, and defend the physical and mental environments we know, and which offer the required room, food, and safety. From an evolutionary perspective this has probably been advantageous. The present issue is still the defence of our environment, but our mental defensiveness has now turned into an unwelcome rigidity which endangers our survival. . wrote:
Marx, like Spinoza. and later Freud., believed that most of what man think is 'false' consciousness, is ideology and rationalisation; that the true mainspring of man's actions are unconscious to him (Fromm, 1966, pp. 20-21).
This means that people should become aware of their true human needs and ideals by transforming false consciousness into true consciousness, that is, by becoming aware of reality, rather than distorting it by rationalisations and fictions.
Marx, Karl; Freud, Sigmund;, and are three classic examples of a long list of people whose intention was and is to change life for the better, by informing and leading others. However, which event, thought, or feeling actually makes us intrinsically decide to our behaviour, depends on the individual life history and personality. Assuming that obedience is indeed the major motivational character trait in our society, which governs behaviour only as long as it is enforced, we will probably have the greatest likelihood of a lasting change if we make a really , a choice which is offered free from any expectancy or pressure. The probability that the option for change is accepted depends in turn on our cluster of character traits and on our environment. Important psychological factors are the relative importance and functions of the old and the new behaviour, the courage to admit an error and to face opposition of others, and the emotional impact of the prompting thought or event. Situational factors are awareness and knowledge of the environmental facts and the consequences of a change, the material disadvantages or benefits, and the means to carry out the new behaviour.
Under the heading Motivating and Inspiring summarised much of his vision on the ways in which people in leading positions in business can make people change:
Leadership is different [management is controlling, and basically maintains the status quo]. Achieving grand visions despite the obstacles always requires an occasional burst of energy, the kind that certain motivational and inspirational processes can provide. Such processes accomplish their energising effect, not by pushing people in the right direction, as a control mechanism often does, but by satisfying very basic human needs: for achievement, belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a sense of control over one's life, and living up to one's ideals. These processes touch us deeply and powerfully, and elicit a most powerful response. The motivational aspect of leadership can manifest itself in many different ways. But more often than not, it comes in a package that includes 1) the articulation of a vision in a manner that stresses the values of the audience being addressed (and thus makes the work important to these individuals), 2) the involvement of those people in deciding how to achieve that vision or the part of the vision that is most important to them (giving people a sense of control), 3) the enthusiastic support of their efforts at achieving that vision, supplemented by coaching, feedback, and role modeling (which helps them grow professionally and enhances their self-esteem), and 4) the public recognition and rewarding of all their successes (providing them with recognition, a sense of belonging to an organisation that cares about them, and a feeling of accomplishment). In a sense, when this is done, the work itself seems intrinsically motivating. [...] Controls are purely driven by the head, whereas inspiration often comes from the heart. The one focuses on surface behaviour and its effects, the other on the deepest reaches of the human soul (Kotter, 1990, p. 63).
Based on his study of 15 successful general managers, (1990) presented detailed accounts of successful leadership in 11 major business corporations. He showed how senior and middle managers, in close concert with colleagues and subordinates, were able to create a leadership process that put into action hundreds of commonsense ideas and procedures which, in combination with competent management, produced extraordinary results for the business corporations involved.
I have cited (and later ) at length since both acknowledged the importance of basic human needs such as empowerment and autonomy for the creation of change. But in spite of my quest for autonomy and free choice, I would blame the victim if I expected a person in our society to change entirely autonomously. Society seduces a person collectively to a habit (such as ). Therefore it is fair that the costs should not to borne individually, either in the form of illness or the request for personal power and will to change (and stop smoking), but also collectively. If society promotes undesired habits by offering psychological and material rewards, similar rewards and incentives should be offered to promote change. We should change societal rules in such a way that promoting undesired habits becomes unprofitable.
Finally, my own adult motivation seems to stem from my quests for acceptance and autonomy. My upbringing left me with a strong and healthy tendency to say No to controlling authorities, and equally strong needs to be respected, and to express empathy.
Environmental Motivation and Ethics
Environmental motivation, defined as motivation to care for the environment, presumes that such care is necessary. It deals with the scale and nature of the care, the factual causes for environmental concern, our motives and motivation, and with the outcomes in the form of environmentally sound behaviour (ESB).
The state of the environment sparked the discussion on environmental ethics, in an attempt to provide ethical and moral foundations for ESB, parallel to rational arguments. An environmental ethic is a set of values to live by which takes due account of the non-human world ( 1986). One question in environmental ethics is whether humankind is a part of nature. This is generally answered positively. A central issue is whether, if yes, which inherent values can be attributed to non-human life forms and to non-living parts of this world:
'Deep ecology' can be understood as the view that we ought to extend moral consideration to the entire biotic community either (a) by extending to all living elements of that community the right to live and flourish, or (b) by regarding the biotic community as the primary object of moral regard" ( 1987, p. 116).
The guiding notion of deep ecology is the "rejection of the man-in-environment image in favour of the relational, total-field image" ( 1973, cited in Cheney, 1987, p. 117). Deep ecology can be contrasted with shallow ecology, which focuses on resource conservation and anti-pollution environmentalism. Shallow ecology is reproached to be anthropocentric in its motivation. I am inclined to agree with Watson, who wrote that the posing of man against nature in any way is anthropocentric, and that human actions are as natural as the behaviour of any other species of animals:
To avoid this separation of man from nature [...] we must stress that man's works (yes, including H-bombs and gas chambers) are as natural as those of bower birds and beavers ( 1983, p. 252, cited in 1987, p. 103).
This means that I opt for shallow ecology, provided that its perspective is global in its inclusion of all ecological relationships, human motivational factors and life requirements.
Feminist ecology , for example in Leland, Stephanie; & (1983), seems often based on the notion that female qualities predestine women to have a leading role in the protection of nature. I think that women have a stronger affinity to life since they feel the developing life during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Women who have not had this experience may also be closer to these feelings than men, because of their socialisation.
A detailed examination of environmental attitude and behaviour of the public and of members of a Washington State environmental organisation in 1976 demonstrated a modest support for the prediction that females are more concerned for environmental quality than males ( & 1983). and (1989) drew samples (n=1000) in the provinces of Ontario and the state of Michigan and found that women were more likely than men to hold beliefs reflecting a nurturing and protecting attitude toward the environment. However, Yrnesta opposed hierarchical ecology:
Life on earth is an interconnected web [É] [H]uman hierarchy is projected onto nature and then used to justify social domination. Therefore, eco-feminist theory seeks to show the connections between all forms of domination of non-human nature, and eco-feminism is necessarily anti-hierarchical (King, 1983, p. 16, cited in Cheney, 1987, p. 116).
What all seem to forget when they write about nature, is that nature not only includes the nice little birds and the beavers, but equally bacteria and viruses. We combat the latter with all our might, since they cause such nasty illnesses as syphilis, malaria, and sleeping sickness. As a remedy we try to eradicate the mosquito and the tse-tse fly. We clear swamp areas, thus initiating a chain of reactions which affects the ecological balance of unnumbered species. In such cases environmentally sound behaviour would be to leave the infested area alone.
In the relationship between environmental concern and economics, the latter seems to weigh heavier. US farmers Lynn & Rola, in Quiding The analysis of 38 environmental conflicts in Texas between 1976 and 1983 suggested that the way environmental degradation is perceived to affect humans is more important than the degradation itself ( & 1988). In other words, personal welfare comes before environmental ethics.
Focusing on Future Generations and the Environment, Janice wrote that motivation "matters most when conflict between present and future interests is greatest, when some are called upon to sacrifice" (Wright, 1988, p. 59). By taking this perspective, Wright suggested or adopted the notion that environmental motivation requires a willingness to sacrifice, silently implying that the interests of different generations lie in maximising individual material benefits. Such a perspective seems firmly anchored in our Christian and capitalist culture, and ignores the fact that intrinsic motivation based on free will does not mean a sacrifice. The immersion in one culture and tradition makes it difficult to take another perspective, to visualise and practice other ways to attain happiness. In a culture of accumulation and maximisation a request for change can easily become a request for sacrifice. Maximisation as a means to attain happiness finds its maximum in the quest for eternal life.
Moreover, it is difficult to specify the interests of future generations, or even of the present one. It is not in our interest, for instance, to enjoy the luxury of an almost unlimited private transport in spite of its death toll for human life and for the environment. The question is whether something is in our interest or whether we are merely interested. It could be the interest of future generations to apply selective euthanasia because of the effects of our present atomic power and weapons' practices. In May 1991, the media looked back at the Cernobyl disaster of 1986. The atomic power station failed and released large amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere. Today we only see a small tip of its consequences for human life in the form of illness and genetic deformations.
I can try to escape these dilemmas by focusing on the motivation proper of the present generation, and connect it with the view that there is one basic motivation for behaviour: the quest for material and psychic well-being. This takes the weighing of interests back into the minds of the people in our generation only. It entails the view that the individually perceived ways to reach this goal depend on a person's socialisation, on her education, on his upbringing, on life experiences and the environment. Each person has her/his own desires, tendencies, and priorities. Thus our conflict is not with posterity in a non-existent abstract future. Our conflict is with the people of our generation, with our parents and with our children. The conflict lies in my choice for a living environment, against the other's acceptance of an artificial one. I want trees, the other wants videos.
Michael wrote that the modern environmental movement probably began in 1963, triggered by the publication of Rachel 's Silent Spring. Carson described a world in which no birds sang because the insects on which they fed had been killed by pesticides. She argued convincingly that the use of pesticides was leading inevitably to the environmental catastrophe of a silent spring:
The message was alarming. Nuclear war would be appalling, but it was an event that might or might not occur. Carson was presenting us with a threat no less serious in its destructive power, but insidious, happening already, well advanced (Allaby, 1989, p. ix).
For the issues of environmental motivation and behaviour of individuals, 's model can be used. He saw a developing person situated in four concentric settings, which he called the micro- meso-, exo-, and macrosystems. In these systems a person has a personal, local, regional, and global perspective, respectively. Bronfenbrenner drew special attention to the interrelations between the individual and the environment, and he defined the first perspective, our microsystem, as:
a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations experienced by the developing person in a given setting with particular physical and material characteristics. [É] A setting is a place where people can readily engage in face-to-face interaction. A critical term in the definition of the microsystem is experienced. The term is used to indicate that the scientifically relevant features of any environment include not only its objective properties but also the way in which these properties are perceived by the persons in that environment (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 22, original italics).
After explaining that the conception at the basis of his theory derived from the ideas of Kurt , especially Lewin's construct of the life space or psychological field (Lewin, 1951), questioned:
What sense, let alone application, could one make of a theory in which the perceived is viewed as more important than the actual, the unreal more valid than the real; where the motivation that steers behaviour inheres in external objects, activities, and other people; and where the content of all these complicated structures remains unspecified (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, p. 23)?
The basis for an answer may lie in the fact that our understanding of what actually takes place often changes as we approach the scene where things happen. In an early paper, <In this extraordinary paper, <described s how the perceived reality of the landscape changes as one moves nearer to the front> (Lewin, 1917, cited in Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 24). In other words, our physical and psychological vantage points influence our perspectives. In this way, while provided a model for discussing the dynamics of inter-human relationships, Bronfenbrenner offered a model for focusing on our perceptions of reality. A person's subjective environmental reality could be regarded as a person's cognitive position. Normally one believes that one's knowledge of, and perspective on the environment is correct. But one can fail to acknowledge that other options and further details could lead to a different perspective. 's question and 's answer describe what we know from commonsense: that we see more details, the closer we get. But we defend our known micro- and mesosystem, that is, we sometimes do not want to see new details. Our exo-, and macrosystems;, the pastures across the horizon, are often foreign, potentially threatening, but also a source for increased material welfare and room to live.
Given the present coverage of environmental issues in the media, I assume that almost everybody is aware of aspects of environmental degradation. In combination with a perceived powerlessness to influence those forces and people who cause the damage, this may lead to a diffuse feeling of anxiety about the future. The tendency to maintain the status quo of one's present lifestyle, and the faulty idea that one's personal consumptive contribution has no significant impact, lead to inaction. I believe that most ordinary people ('commoners'), and people in leading positions ('leaders') alike, are just decent citizens who can be motivated to do something for the environment, under the right conditions. Regarding leaders, & Pahl wrote twenty years ago:
"If our managers were deeply concerned about wider social, political or economic issues we found little evidence of it. [...] Few appear to be concerned about wider issues such as economic development in third-world countries or even the slums of our own cities" (Pahl & Pahl, 1971, pp. 265-266).
This has certainly changed: "Protecting the environment is a central concern of the and the European Investment Bank", is the first statement of the Banks' presidents, and , in their joint foreword to The Environment Program for the Mediterranean: Preserving a shared heritage and managing a common resource (World Bank, European Investment Bank, 1990, p. iii). This is an example of environmental concern that was expressed at a high level of
An American psychologist and business trainer, Jan , interviewed 4126 male managers over a period of six years from 1977 to 1983. The majority of Halper's participants came from 'Fortune 500' companies (the world's largest), and comprised 1349 senior level executives and 1893 middle managers. The other participants were 784 professionals (lawyers, accountants, and doctors), 63 technical managers, and 37 entrepreneurs. Their ages ranged from 27 to 78. Halper's Quiet Desperation includes the findings of an in-depth study that she made of 43 top-level executives, whose lives were followed for two years (Halper, 1988, 2). However, the protection of the environment is not mentioned. Although her study mainly focused on the process of change from control and obedience to self-control and yielding of power of the men she spoke with, the absence of any reference to the protection of the Earth after more than 4000 interviews is conspicuous. The answer could lie in a bias of the inconspicuous last two words of
Halper's vision of "executives who are finally ready to relinquish their control over others for the sake of their company, its people and our economy " (Halper, 1988, p. 187, italics added). Halper's study confirmed that leaders are also common people, "searching, vulnerable, excited, thoughtful, growing human beings" (Halper, 1988, p. 275).
Kotter, John P.; included ethical aspects of leadership in his description of what he sees as its essential function: to produce adaptive or constructive change. Good or effective leadership is:
when it moves people to a place in which both they and those who depend on them are genuinely better off, and when it does so without trampling on the rights of others The function implicit in this belief is constructive or adaptive change (Kotter, 1990, p. 5).
Kotter saw establishing direction, developing a vision of the future, often a distant future, along with strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision, as one subprocess through which leadership achieves this function within a complex organisation (Kotter, 1990). As far as the community, country, and the world can be seen as complex organisations, the practical realisation of this vision seems desirable for all of us. Environmental education may be one of the ways toward this goal.
The discussion of ethics led to the notion that the environmental issue can be regarded as a conflict in values of people of the same generation. Personally I have drawn the conclusion, from history and from present-day practices, that 'at the end of the day' it is not ethics that count, but our personal and 'tribal' satisfaction, welfare, and survival.
The theory presented in this section on motivation suggested that our basic motivation is embodied in the quest for material and psychic well-being and satisfaction. Bio-logic also suggested that our natural human tendency is cooperative. Environmental motivation and ethics were shown in relation to differences in values and interests of people, and the changing perceptions of reality depending on the individual vantage point.
Literature and research on environmental motivation demonstrate that environmental awareness is widespread and has reached the highest management levels. But they also suggest that there is still a large field of commoners and leaders to be ploughed, organically fertilised, and sown with seeds of environmentally sound behaviour.
The need for environmental education, that is the teaching of ecology, arose with the increasing awareness of environmental problems. In past ages, nature loving people have occasionally pointed at specific human practices that are harmful for the environment.
[É] solitude in the presence of natural beauty and grandeur, is the cradle of thoughts and aspirations which are not only good for the individual, but which society could ill do without it. Nor is there much satisfaction in contemplating the world with nothing left to the spontaneous activity of nature; with every rood of land brought into cultivation, which is capable of growing food for human beings; every flowery waste or natural pasture plowed up, all quadrupeds or birds which are not domesticated for man's use exterminated as his rivals for food, every hedgerow or superfluous tree rooted out, and scarcely a place left where a wild shrub or flower could grow without being eradicated in the name of improved agriculture. If the earth must lose that great portion of its pleasantness which it owes to things that the unlimited increase of wealth and population would extirpate from it, for the mere purpose of enabling it to support a larger, but not a better or a happier population, I sincerely hope, for the sake of posterity, that they will be content to be stationary, long before necessity compels them to do it. It is scarcely necessary to remark that a stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement (Mill, 1848, extracted in 1990, pp. 131-132).
In the last sentence of this citation, Mill was over-optimistic. He did probably not foresee this twentieth century's techno-logic which fails to acknowledge that the light at the end of the tunnel may be the glare of environmental disaster. The logic expressed by people like , (1974), and (1988)) seems compelling, so that one could raise the question whether each generation has to rediscover the same basic principles. Vance for instance, wrote The Waste Makers: A startling revelation of planned wastefulness and obsolescence in industry today in 1961, which already pointed at the environmental consequences of a consumerist society.
Environmental Education in School Settings
Nowadays, environmental education, in a broader sense, not necessarily as a part of the official curriculum, has already an important place in schools, colleges, and universities. In the USA, curricular and instructional strategies which effectively lead to to the development of environmentally responsible individuals have not been implemented in their school systems (Hines et al. 1986/87). Many teachers seem to have an openness for environmental issues, and by virtue of their profession they try to impart their ideas onto their pupils. Yet suggested that educational practices in many countries require change, since:
[É] teachers have been seen first as more or less qualified child-minders, and then as technicians whose job is to prepare children and youth 'for life'>Braham, p.23. 'Life' is generally understood as that which satisfies the interests of the dominant elite within the society, interests which are usually conservative in nature. Teachers are seen, therefore, not so much as professionals, but as pedagogical civil servants (Braham, 1988, 23).
It is understandable and seems logical to start environmental education with the children, since they are closer to a 'being' mode of living; playful, trustful, open to change. (1988) pointed out that youth movements show essential dynamics of open learning and team working. Unfortunately, widespread Western commonsense and religious beliefs, and also such scientific theories as 's levels of moral judgement (Kohlberg, 1984), seem to follow the idea that children first must be educated, before they can become morally valuable members of the community. Children would gradually lose their egocentrism and increasingly be able to show pro-social behaviour. Commonsense life experience and 'bio-logic', however, can lead to the understanding that we educate children for life indeed, but morally for the worse. Some of the test cases, used by (1977) to demonstrate Kohlberg's theory, actually show levels of increased adaptation to an adult morality of real life, a state of constant discontent and greed for more. This is the capitalist morality of our culture, wherein the young child's open and intuitive innocence is lost, and the adolescent's enthusiasm for ethical issues makes place for adult social compliance, resignation, and rigidity. The best moral education is the living example that we present ourselves, as folk wisdom knows in many proverbs. And, more important, if we want to do something about the environment we should not wait till we have educated our offspring.
Environmental education is nevertheless of great importance, since children and youth can influence the behaviour of adults, and environmental education creates the potential for more environmentally sound behaviours in the future. For the present, practice and research in environmental education provide important stimuli and models. et al. (1986/87) analysed 128 studies on responsible environmental behaviour which had been reported since 1971. This led to the proposal of a model of which relates action skills, knowledge of action strategies, knowledge of issues, and personality variables, to an intention to act. Situational factors and the intention to act together relate to responsible environmental behaviour. However, an individual must possess a desire to act, and such "a desire appears to be affected by a host of personality factors" (Hines et al., 1986/87, p. 7), including attitudes, locus of control, and personal responsibility. They found that the personality components of their model are not as readily influenced through educational efforts as the knowledge and skill components, and concluded:
It is not known at what point a person will forego economic and other personal benefits to do what preserves the integrity and stability of the environment. While the pathway presented in the model by knowledge, skills, and personality factors is the more desirable pathway by which to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour, it may be more efficacious, in the case of certain environmental problems, to manipulate situational factors in order to produce the desired behaviour changes (Hines et al., 1986/87, p. 8).
In other words, since we do not know how to educate responsibility, manipulation, that is coercion, is suggested. However, this argument takes my responsibility and places it on the authorities. Yet there is no certainty that the authorities would either know what the responsible actions to take are, or that they would be more motivated to do so than the usual subjects of environmental education.
Hungerford, Harold R.; & (199080) further developed this research of Hines et al., and specifically addressed the effectiveness of environmental education for promoting "responsible citizenship behavior" (1990, p. 8). They presented a behaviour flow chart model of variables that are involved in environmental behaviour:
FIGURE 3. Behavior Flow Chart: Major and Minor Variables Involved in Environmental Citizenship Behavior
These variables include entry-level, ownership, and empowerment variables, each comprising major and minor variables. The ownership variables are those that make environmental issues very personal. They appear to be critical to responsible environmental behaviour Hungerford's address p. 7. Empowerment variables give the students a sense that they can make changes, and these are the cornerstone in the training. and concluded that typically, issue awareness does not lead to behaviour in the environmental dimension. Students must go beyond awareness and knowledge, and receive the opportunity to develop the sense of ownership and empowerment, so that they become responsible, active citizens. I can take this thought a step further. The best 'sense of ownership' actually occurs when I perceive myself as the owner of the environment that should be protected. If I own the land, with its water and air, I have the power to control its abuse or use. Thus 'the' environment becomes 'my' environment, and I can 'own' the responsibility. Politically such a situation could be achieved by decentralised democratic small community power structures with a high level of autonomy and self-reliance.
A study of (1991p.26) considered 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students' understanding from a human ecological perspective, that is, as an integrated set or cluster of concepts, related to pollution. Several misconceptions about pollution were identified. A similar study ( & , 1990, 24)) concluded that <students apparently never fully understood the essential meaning of ecological concepts, principles, and processes, because of their inability to integrate concepts into a big picture or to recognise broad fundamental relationships>. The age of 11th graders is 17 to 18, possibly high enough to infer onto the capacities of adults. The next example focuses on the teaching of broad fundamental relationships.
& (1990) researched decision-making in environmental education on teaching units entitled Meat, and Fuel, for students aged 13 to 14 and 14 to 15. I will elaborate on their research since they presented a valuable approach to two major environmental problems. Unexpectedly their work also throws light on the important question of bias because of researchers' values. The teaching materials investigated contained flow-charts with detailed explanations on individual practices in The Netherlands and their environmental consequences both at home and in overseas countries. In the units, two main evaluative questions were posed: 'Do you consider the situation a serious environmental problem?', and 'Which solution do you consider the best?'. The results of this study deserve attention since the teenagers at this age may well reflect their socialisation, that is, mirror their parents' choices and attitudes. Also, as the researchers remark, meat eating and the motor car have become symbols of our prosperity and it is therefore no simple matter to question these habits. Before the Meat unit was discussed in class, most of the students considered the housing conditions of factory farmed animals to be the only real environmental problem. After the unit was taught, the majority of the students demonstrated a correct understanding of the relationship between meat production and environmental damage. Yet over 60% believed that the consumer is not to blame, and they felt no personal responsibility, although 80% of the Dutch eat some meat every day. In their replies to a post-test question on possible arguments for giving up meat, only 3% of the arguments mentioned were related to environmental problems. Such Third World problems as soil erosion and depletion caused by the production of cattle fodder for Dutch farmers did not seem real. Although the economic position of the Thai farmers who produce the fodder was only touched upon in passing, it was the economic problem the students remembered. In the classroom discussions no solution was acceptable that had financial consequences for the [Dutch] farmer. The unit on Fuel demonstrated that the students associate energy consumption primarily with the effects of acid rain and less with the greenhouse effect. When asked to free-associate with the phrase 'environmental problem', students did not mention 'greenhouse effect' at all. Their first worry was the depletion of the resources, but this was not considered an environmental problem. Asked about possible solutions for air pollution most students believed that air pollution is caused by industry and motor vehicles, and 30% said we could reduce air pollution by getting rid of cars and closing factories. At this point and commented:
This kind of straightforward reasoning is not devoid of logic, but it is an oversimplification that entails radical measures. A more thoughtful approach to decision-making would recognise the existence of a dilemma and take a more even-handed view of the problem (De Jager and Van der Loo, 1990, p. 40).
However, the fact that the proposed solution requires measures that deal with the problem 'at its roots' (=radical, devoid of its usually negative connotations) represents no valid argument to dismiss a correct solution with the simple term 'oversimplification'. 'Measures' is probably the translated Dutch word 'maatregelen' (literally: measure-rules) which more explicitly shows the inherent notion of an authority who takes measures, or sets the rules. In normal language usage this normally means setting rules for others. Both sentences quoted above are reproachful, which is not justified in a learning context. They carry the conservative economic-political bias meant by (1988). A 'more thoughtful approach' and 'even-handed view' is jumping on the band wagon of compromise. It could be interpreted as the scientists' version of the fatalism they diagnosed with their students, who said "That's just the way things are" (De Jager and Van der Loo, 1990, p. 40) with regard to the housing of animals. and contrasted two decisionmaking aims in environmental education:
 Making environmentally sustainable decisions; that is choosing the most environmentally sound option or alternative [É], and
 Making informed and thoughtful decisions; that is, considering all aspects of a problem and taking a stand (De Jager and Van der Loo, 1990, p. 41).
The students may not have thought through the consequences of the proposed solution. But in their disqualification of objective  in favour of objective  and did certainly not 'think through' the educational consequences of their choice. The students who want to get rid of cars and factories do of course take a stand based on the insight they have at that particular moment, and they should then be encouraged to investigate the advantages and possibilities of achieving the proposed solution. But the authors' suggestion that a solution entails radical measures is discouraging since it carries the widespread beliefs that 'what I do makes no difference' and 'you are never going to get people to stop driving cars'. Such subconscious notions of low personal self-efficacy can lead a person to conclude that coercion would be required. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, which fails to recognise that the teacher as well as the student have personal choices of action. The above-mentioned suggestion of Hines et al. (1986/87, 8) that manipulation should be used since influencing personality factors does not work, seems justified in the existing reality outside the classroom, where change of practice is urgent. In the classroom encouraging education should prevail. Pieters, Maarten; suggested that pupils already have images of reality (preconceptions, alternative frameworks, street images as opposed to school images) or, sometimes with a negative connotation, misconceptions. Education should match these preconceptions, and recognition of the existing knowledge must have a structural place in the design of education (Pieters, 1990). (1988, 66-67) pointed out that it may be important to create situations in which students are invited to state and explain their ideas and to generate new solutions.
The request to consider all aspects is unrealistic, as illustrated by the example of the energy saving light bulb in the next section. Moreover, the radical solution is correct and does work, but it does not entail radical measures with the implicit suggestion of imposed change. Such notions of extrinsic change are found back in the frequent procedure of blaming the other, in what I call environmental '', that is the attitude of expecting the other to change. However, it is not the other who has to change. The choice is mine and requires no other radical measures than that I think it through, make the choice, and do it. Either I leave the light on, eat meat, drive a car, and pollute, or I turn the light off, am a vegetarian, use a bicycle and public transport, and no factory farm nor car factory or additional power station with their rat's tails of environmental damage goes onto my
private account. The car that I do not use does not have to be produced and will never be a part of the twice-daily 15 to 30 kilometre long standing traffic congestions at the infamous motorway roundabout of Oudenrijn near Utrecht. On the other hand, I do not have to work to earn money for the meat or the car that I do not buy. I do not have to fear the unemployment caused by the closing of those factories that are useless for me and harmful to my environment. Ultimately I only have to work for what I consume.
Environmental choices are economic and political. (1990, 79) even stated that environmental education is extremely values-laden, and that the comparison or the conflict between these values becomes explicit in environmental education. I am puzzled how "problems such as unemployment" can be called "non-environmental problems of an economic or political nature" ( and , 1990, p. 42). The economic and political implications of meat and energy consumption can be imagined if one considers the spiral of energy input to output ratios for different foods over time. In the course of history a 50 times profit turned into a 600 times deficit. Primitive agriculture yields 50 times more energy than it invests. But modern sea-fishery has a negative energy ratio of 250 to 1, and glasshouse vegetables of 600 to 1 ( 1980, p. 34). Apart from these inadequacies in using the teaching units, I value this method of relating individual actions to an array of consequences. For my present thesis I initially envisaged an environmental issue approach, based on chicken and egg production, for my interviews with adults.
et al. described an Issue Analysis method that "allows learners to organise information about an issue in a sound conceptional framework" (Ramsey et al., 1990, p. 26). They listed as components of an issue analysis: problem, issue, players, positions, beliefs, values, and solutions. Examples of value descriptors are: aesthetic, cultural, ecological, economic, educational, egocentric, legal, recreational, and social.
Environmental Education of the General Public
The environmental education of the general public can be called accidental. There are many individuals and organisations who work specifically for the environment. Administrative and commercial organisations, including the mass media, also contribute. However, their leaders may have other motives than mere concern for the environment. All try to educate and persuade the public to change. My next thoughts are based on the evidence of a variety of pamphlets and journals edited by environmentally interested parties, and on many hours of attentive TV watching over the past two years. The latter could be called a personal empirical observation of life in TV commercials, news presentation, and political discussions. Radio and television, the information media for the majority of the population, bring the topic more than once daily, in commercials, documentaries on nature, and sometimes in the news. Therefore the public is aware of the issue. However, the mass media provide little information about what one can actually do for the environment. Radio and TV also illustrate the central importance of feelings: they bring almost all announcements and commercials in a happy and emotive tone, carrying a promise of happiness. The message is that 'you feel good' because you watch our programme and buy our 'goods', 'we provide the pleasure'. Therefore I think that environmentalism can only really become successful if it presents the notion that we like to be green, that being green gives us a good feeling, and that you will enjoy it too.
The educational methods of non-profit organisations seem to rest predominantly on the assumption that people may take rational decisions to change their behaviour, after they have been presented with more or less detailed emotive evidence of environmental damage. Often the tone is plaintive, appealing to feelings of empathy, sometimes angrily demanding. However, people are not naturally attracted by misery, nor does new knowledge automatically lead to action. The spots of Earth-care, appearing since the second half of 1991 and commercially sponsored, present a mixture of positive feelings linked with information and emotive colours and music linked with drawings of pollution. The example of an information campaign in Switzerland clearly suggests that the public can become irritated by the environmental issue and actively resist educational efforts. In Western Europe the air pollution has led to acid rain, which causes the dying of the forests. In Switzerland and Germany two thirds of the forests are ill. Nevertheless, information bill boards, placed by environmental organisations in Switzerland along so-called Forest Damage Learning Tracks;, led to turmoil on a national scale and caused active resistance. Some were damaged and some communities refused permission for erection. Dead and ill trees were rapidly eliminated in the vicinity of some bill boards, before the trees could be marked as examples. The local population, although dependent upon these forests for the protection of their villages against avalanches and land erosion, resisted the information (Beobachter, 1988).
Official educational efforts are sometimes limited to the request to stop littering. 'Recycle' is a popular advice, 're-use' and 'reduce' almost non-existent, possibly because it conflicts with the growth ideology. Some publicity asks the public to care for the environment, and does give advice about the possibilities to do so. An excellent pamphlet Climate Change: Exhausting the future, by the Ministry for the Environment (1991), both educates about the causes of environmental damage and gives many examples of actions that individuals and companies can take. The brochure Another View of Clean, Green is one example of Greenpeace's efforts to educate the population with hard
factual pictures that the New Zealand reality does not necessarily correspond with the country's official and popular green image (Greenpeace, no date (1991?)).
These educational efforts are rivaled by the sales efforts of commercials, including those of recently privatised communal services, such as the Post Office and Electricorp. Business organisations often use pressure selling methods with the happy-go-lucky message. They sell their products in the first place, and the environment is available as an issue when appropriate.
This prevalence of the happy growth credo in administration and commerce supports the view that there is some room for a specific environmental education. (1985) analysed data from a stratified sample (n=7010) from a survey of 1977 by the US Soil Conservation Service, and found that the upper-middle class does not seem to have a greater concern for the environment. & suggest that:
There is a need to educate an elite, not least because unless the are reached there is unlikely to be either the political will, or the resources, or the legislative authority needed to precede change and to complement a popular will, however strong (Brice–o & Pitt, 1988, p. xii).
In the section on motivation it was suggested that basic motivation is embodied in the quest for material and psychic well-being and satisfaction. This section on education suggested that adult people need mature independence and a sense of ownership of their lives and actions, as well as empowerment, which lead to the understanding that changes can be made and that 'what I do makes a difference'. Literature and public media allude that both commoners and leaders require an increased understanding of basic and complex environmental relationships, including socio-political ideologies and its consequences for the environment. Research in environmental education demonstrated effective methods for teaching adolescents, and a need for systematic education of adults.
Environmentally Sensitive Behaviour
On 13 May 1991 the NZ TV-One-six-o'clock-News 'weather man' Jim told the populace: "the electric blanket season seems to have started." I assume that the man was not aware of the environmental consequences of this sales promotion at TV prime time. The production of both electricity and electric blankets costs human labour, capital, and imported raw materials and technology. And it is bad for the environment. In a time of economic austerity because of the country's international debt it would seem sensible to
promote labour-intensive 100% wool blankets. A utilisation of the nation's labour and sheep resources would benefit the country's trade balance and human welfare. I do not assume that our weather man was rewarded for his announcement by an electricity or electric blanket board, but his behaviour was insensitive to the environment.
Environmentally sensitive behaviour is my overall term for any attitude or behaviour that occurs purposely in connection with the environment. It includes:
1. Environmentally Sensitive Practices (ESPr's), which are practices that are carried out because of the environmental issue, but which are not necessarily good, and can even be harmful to the environment, or which can be done for non-environmental motives.
2. Environmentally Sound Behaviour (ESB), that is any practice that can be viewed to be actually beneficial to the protection of the environment.
These working definitions were formulated for the purpose of this study in order to distinguish between actual behavioural practices, environmental awareness and knowledge, and psychological constructs that are based on attitudes. These definitions also allow the necessary distinction between questionable environmentally sensitive practices and really environmentally sound or responsible behaviour.
Environmentally Responsible Behaviour
Using almost identical words, but in a different sequence, Daniel defined:
Responsible Environmental Behaviour (REB): any action, individual or group, directed toward the remediation of environmental issues/problems (Sivek, 1987, cited in Sivek & , 1989, p. 35).
The definition was used within the frame of environmental education, which aims at students who are to <become active environmental problem-solvers>, with the goal of Responsible Environmental Behaviour (REB) as a major outcome ( & , 1989). Apart from being a psychological construct, based on eight predictor variables, including a Level of Environmental Sensitivity, this definition is limited by its use of the term 'responsible' in direct connection with 'any action [É] directed toward remediation'. Defined in this way, I understand REB in terms of people accepting personal responsibility for their behaviour, and it confounds the human motivational aspect with the environmental aspect proper. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, individuals frequently take huge responsibilities which they can never redeem if matters go wrong. Second, but equally important, it does not deal with the question whether a behaviour is really responsible, or whether it represents an environmentally sensitive behaviour that must be seriously questioned. It is not responsible to promote, for instance, atomic power stations in spite of this technology's track record of damage, long term impact, and incredible risks, in order to reduce CO2 air pollution, while maintaining a highly polluting lifestyle. In the next example, it is less self-evident what responsible behaviour is and what the correct and sufficient ecological and technological knowledge is for making a responsible decision.
The German psychologists and promoted energy saving light bulbs in the context of their research of so-called social marketing. Using the slogan Negawatt instead of Megawatt they distributed flyers with the suggestion '10,000 times two'. This meant that the participants would buy two light bulbs, keep one and give the second to somebody else. Prose explained that in this way the purchase turns into a symbolically important act for the buyer since s/he has to think about it, and each buyer will involve a second person. The method proved successful. Some electricity retailers even had waiting lists of over 40 customers. In March 1991, the researchers had almost reached the envisaged sales figure of 20,000 units. Prose claimed that marketing, as a proven "behaviour modifying system" (Der Spiegel, 1991, p. 114, my translation) in the commercial area, can also raise the environmental awareness. This is a truism. The matter stands in a different light when details are examined (, 1991). The bulb uses 6 times less electricity. Its claimed life time is 8000 hours, possibly 4 times the life of a traditional bulb. This creates a cost advantage of 24 times over the traditional bulb. However, the new bulb costs 40 dollars, which is 40 times more. So the balance swings to a positive 40 : 24 in favour of the normal bulb. Assuming that the price does not comprise an exorbitant margin, dollars can simply be considered as pollution-units, reflecting the technological methods and materials required for production and distribution. This makes the energy-saving light bulb ecologically disadvantageous, even before consideration of the fact that the price does not include the waste disposal or future recycling costs. Because of the materials used, at the end of their life the new bulbs have to be dumped as so-called special wastes. They contain mercury, like the fluorescent tubes, and the electronic base requires dumping as computer-wastes. Moreover, many of these bulbs radiate light and radioactivity, since their ignition devices contain a radio-nucleide, which in turn is produced by nuclear technology. The region of Kiel uses 65% atomic power generated electricity, and to stop this, the electricity consumption would have to be reduced to one third of the present level.
The Listener subtitled an article on energy saving (1990) with a spectacular:
Behind the sallow, bespectacled exterior of US superbrain Armory B. may lie the answers to the problems that threaten the future of our planet ( 1990, p. 15)
The article described Lovins' holistic integrative views on environmental problems, including his rejection of atomic power for economic reasons. Lovins was pictured twice, proudly presenting the very energy saving light bulb. One of his basic beliefs was that the cause of the problem is often the prior solution. Apparently Lovins lived in a high-tech home with, among other things, walls with freon-filled foam insulation, although freon is the very gas that destroys the ozone layer. In conclusion, the article quoted Lovins with:
"I still think we can save the planet if we start learning faster than the problems get worse. [É] Now, all we need is a sudden cessation of stupidity" (Lovins, quoted in 1990, p. 15).
Where is the wisdom of our human brains? Possibly (1978) was on the right track with the title Man: Evolution astray (my translation of Der Mensch: IrrlŠufer der Evolution of the German edition of his Janus: A summing up). Extensive research of Doerner in Berlin suggests that people fail to take the correct decisions in complex and dynamic domains because of three main factors. These include (1) the tendency to guard one's self-esteem by not looking at threatening data or at one's own errors, (2) a predominance of current problems or not looking at possible future problems, and (3) human forgetfulness or limited human data processing capacity which leads to inadequate adaptation to the sequential characteristics of processes (, 1988; 1990). The first two factors can be related to a requirement of courage to face and acknowledge reality, and this in turn to dependency-obedience factors and psycho-analytic repression. Maybe self-loyalty is the beginning of wisdom.
The question of responsibility has various aspects. First, in the light of the above-mentioned evidence and promotional methods the average consumer cannot be held responsible for using these energy saving light bulbs. Second, it is not environmentally responsible of the manufacturer and the scientists to promote the product although the environmental balance appears negative, and nuclear technology is involved. Third, psychologists should not be involved in misleading the public by using a promotional slogan Negawatt instead of Megawatt which is a linguistic distortion and exaggeration of the actual saving potential. The question remains how far do we all, scientists and common people, have to go, investigate and acquire technical knowledge, before we accept sales propaganda. And this gives the responsibility back to the managers who
decide to produce an article. The final wisdom that could guide our actions with regard to the environment could be that we choose the product that incorporates the lowest amount of technology or that we can safely judge to be safe on the environment.
That such a lifestyle is possible to a certain extent amidst our high-tech society is demonstrated by the Amish in Pennsylvania. Their labour-intensive agriculture yields high quality produce which is in high demand, and requires up to 87% less energy on farms that are six times smaller than the US average ( et al., 1977; , 1990). Their farming methods with simple technology and their contented and conserving lifestyle with frugal consumption patterns led to prosperity in an otherwise poverty-stricken agricultural area:
Probably more than any other group in this country, the Amish could survive without the support of industrial society (Johnson et al., 1977, 378).
Environmentally Sensitive Practices
Research on environmental motivation has frequently focused on attitudes, as demonstrated, for example, in An annotated bibliography on conservation attitudes and behaviours (Janis , unpublished, no date (1991?)). She reviewed 50 studies, collected from 20 publications, predominantly referring to US situations, and cited one study on behaviour as opposed to attitudes of active and non-active members of the New Jersey Sierra Club ( & , 1987). The findings included two motivational factors. Social interactions seemed to exercise a powerful influence on active involvement, and one quarter of the active members believed that they or members of their family had been directly harmed by some environmental problem. The active members scored higher on a scale of perceived efficacy of citizen action. and (1989) found that activism often interacted with gender, so that those individuals expressing highest pro-environmental attitudes were women.
Research in the USA indicated that environmental sensitivity is the major predictor of citizenship behaviour, but suggestions of means of influencing this construct can not be made since "the researchers do not know how this sensitivity originated" ( in a discussion, cited in 1990, p. 63). The relativity of research on specific interest groups with the help of psychological constructs was demonstrated by the admission of that his data on environmental behaviour were collected from environmental activists in the USA who are almost all middle-aged, and that an investigation among younger activists is needed to see whether they are more solidarity-driven than sensitivity-driven:
In spite of what the models [issue investigation model, and case study model, Ramsey, 1990, p. 62] say, the data show that actions of the more nature-sensitive people are life-style changes, not citizenship actions. But many of the conservation measures studied in the programme did not have direct correspondence with nature. They contributed to knowledge on a cognitive level. The measures were driven by a sense of responsibility rather than by one of affect (, 1990, in a discussion, cited in Pieters, 1990, p. 63, italics added).
Hereafter examples of environmentally sensitive practices (ESPr's} in everyday life are presented, commencing with those that affect us in our microsystem (, 1979), which we experience or at least perceive from a routine perspective. The next group of ESPr's falls in the scope that people have from their local and regional perspectives. The last example refers to the global perspective.
On a personal and local level, in our micro- and mesosystem, smoking behaviour affects and harms us daily. This practice accounts for approximately 50% of men's and 33% of women's 'lost years of life' (, 1991, 23)), and also harms the non-smokers. The obvious environmentally sound behaviour, not to smoke, is simultaneously a practice that is sensitive to one's most intimate environment, one's own body, and to one's microsystem, that is the face-to-face interrelations with other people. Rational motives, anxiety, and even personally experienced serious illness and disabilities because of smoking, represent insufficient motivation to stop. Pressure, aggression, and attribution of guilt do not lead to a positive result either, they only push a person into a defensive position. Focusing on a requirement of an individual act of will to stop a habit that has been fostered by society, however, means that the individual is left alone at the moment s/he needs compassion and support. Thus smoking is a typical case where a desired practice in one's microsystem needs support by the macrosystem, that is society at large.
Smoking is a salient example of a practice where the sound behaviour 'not smoking' consists of not doing something. Not-smoking comprises the common environmental aims: not polluting, not wasting resources, not harming the health of oneself and of others. It is conspicuous that the desired behavioural change consists of the abolition of a habit (have-it) in favour of a sensitive and sound behaviour of being content and satisfied with fresh air. People who have the sound behaviour are commonly called non-smokers, instead of more appropriately 'fresh-airers'. has a high percentage of fresh-airers, in comparison with overseas.
On a regional level, in our exosystem, the ESPr 'recycling' is in principle a sound behaviour. However, re-using, reducing, and avoiding materials, with increasing benefit for the environment in this order, represent still sounder practices. The benefits of recycling depend on the procedures used. A TV documentary showed how plastics were recycled in Auckland (, 1990). The most conspicuous in the documentary was that the plastics were manually sorted out on a conveyor belt. At the beginning and during the production-consumption chain, however, almost everything is done to make human labour superfluous. The plastic recyclers will possibly find a method of identifying and sorting the different kinds of plastics without manual labour. The result will entail more capital equipment, more dependence on imported materials, more energy consumption, more pollution, and less jobs. Such a concept of recycling means that we continue our consumptive habits. The recycling of aluminium entails the accumulation of hazardous waste because of the recycling process ( & , 1991; , 1991). Aluminium recycling must therefore be rejected, and recycling generally remains a questionable fourth choice practice. In the regional perspective of most people a positive view on recycling is normal.
On a global level, in our macrosystem, the environmental relationships are much less obvious. This is demonstrated by the example of the automobile. Firstly, the car is not auto-mobile. Its motion wholly depends on the availability of outside sources of energy. The car, and motorised transport in general, is such a blatant cause of environmental destruction that Denis de called it the pest of the twentieth century. No other product than this pest of the twentieth century causes such a trail of environmental degradation, depletion, and destruction because of its manufacturing, use, and discarding. The socio-economic consequences include noise, economically wasteful geographical distances between production and consumption areas, millions of deaths and mutilations because of traffic accidents, and the transformation of harmonious community structures into anonymous mass structures with identity problems. Yet, many people think that 'In we're okay', and that electric cars are the solution. They seem unaware of the worldwide consequences, and of the fact that electricity must be generated as well.
In Europe the awareness is different, but not necessarily the behaviour. A survey of the Swiss Automobile Trade Association about 'environment and auto' demonstrated that Swiss men and women have a bad conscience regarding the private car. In 44% of the interviewees the car topic spontaneously prompted notions of environmental destruction, environmental pollution, and noise. The positive associations, however, like means of transport, convenience, utility, time-saving, mobility, etc. prevail. With an average of 2.8 responses per interviewee, 44% of the statements were positive, and 38% negative. For 81% the private car was one of their most useful objects; 76% stressed the great advantages for the family; an incredible 83% claimed that they could not perform their profession without a car; and 82% praised the time gain for their daily journey to work. Finally, 91% thought that possessing a car is expensive. Yet three out of four rejected an 'eco-bonus', a levy to be used for environmental measures related to private car use, and almost one third believed in the chances of an electro-mobile (, 1991 3-4).
A representative telephone survey of April 1991 demonstrated that only one third of the Swiss would be prepared to accept speed limits during the summer because of smog. This figure comprises an above average number of women, since they have to care for the ozone-inflicted children, and/or cannot take them out into the open. (, 1991). New Zealanders worry about the hole in the ozone layer, their car exhaust gases are rapidly blown into the Pacific. In Europe, the summer sun transforms the exhaust gases into a high concentration of poisonous ozone on our breathing level. The environmentally sensitive and sound behaviour is to choose public transport and the bicycle.
According to , Member of Parliament in Bonn, and member of the investigation committee Schutz der ErdatmosphŠre (Protection of the Earth Atmosphere), presently the global warming, since the beginning of our industrial age, has reached 0.7 ûC. The temperature buffer of the oceans delays the effect on the climate system by 30 to 40 years. This means that a man-made total temperature rise of 1.2 - 1.5 ûC can not be stopped any more (MŸller, 1991). Together with forty German politicians and scientists, MŸller signed a self-obligation which included decreasing their private car use by 30% in one year, halving their meat consumption, and generally reducing their energy usage by 50% over the next ten years (MŸller et al., 1991). This seems to be a sensible and sound environmental practice.
These subsections on environmentally sensitive behaviour dealt with the difficulty in our high-tech society to make correct choices for really environmentally sound behaviours. The complexity of the economic-technological issues led to the suggestion that we should choose those products that involve the lowest degree of technology. Examples of behaviour demonstrated our difficulty in identifying with the environment and with the consequences of our behaviour on different levels of environmental involvement.
Basic Questions, Aims
The above elaborations and thoughts can be summarised in a number of assertions, expectations, and questions:
1. All human behaviour depends on motivation. What motivation, both in degree and type, do people have to care for the environment, and/or to become actively involved in Environmentally Sensitive Practices (ESPr';s)? How is environmental motivation embedded in general motivational processes?
2. The most reliable proof of motivation consists of actual practices (behaviour). What ESPr's do people carry out?
3. A practice that is carried out because of the environment started at a certain moment, and was possibly sparked off by an event or a thought. What was the instance that prompted a change in attitude and/or behaviour with regard to the environment?
4. Our Western society can be viewed to consist of ordinary people (commoners), and people who seem to have executive power positions (leaders). Frequently leaders have more (access to) knowledge, financial and societal resources, and (political) power than commoners. This places the leaders in a more influential position to promote and put into effect policies and practices that aim at the protection of the environment. What are similarities and differences in environmental motivation of commoners and leaders? In how far do ESPr's of leaders show that leaders actually perform leadership functions by taking initiatives, giving examples of and setting directions for environmentally sound behaviours? Are leaders a force for change?
5. Biological and cultural differences between men and women sometimes seem to manifest in a different attitude as to the care for life. Do the two sexes have a different stance or inclination regarding the protection of the environment?
6. People see different possibilities and priorities for actions to protect the environment. The perceived options and choices do not necessarily correspond with the factual environmental situation, as far as this situation can be assessed with a reasonable certainty. Which environmental problems do people see and what are people's perceptions of options, priorities, choices of actions for the protection of the environment?
7. The actual positive effect of environmentally sensitive practices can be disputed. Practices may seem beneficial for the environment on a regional basis. But they can be actually harmful for the Earth as a whole, and/or for people beyond our geographical and/or time scope. Which insights do people have in the ultimate effect of their actions on the environment, physically, geographically, and over time?
8. Any human activity is political, and therefore value-free research does not exist.
In sum, I aim at obtaining an increased understanding of environmental motivation and perceptions of commoners and leaders, in connection with their environmental practices. Causes and processes of environmental degradation should become related to adult environmental motivation and perceptions, and the environmental benefits of environmentally sensitive practices.
The dominant approach to social science research is grounded in positivism, the view which recognises only positive facts and observable, objective phenomena. For most social scientists, it is the only legitimate way to create knowledge. In Psychology this is reflected in attempts to find genetic origins and locations of behaviour and motivation. However, it is questionable whether our human condition can benefit from topographical knowledge of motivation. Probing monkey's brains in order to find the locality of empathy, for instance (, 1990), does not demonstrate empathy to be a motivational force. Moreover, biodeterminism offers welcome arguments in defense of the status quo, and thus contradict one of the major aims of Psychology, helping people to change. I choose to observe the goldfish in their pond, and people in life settings:
The long interview can take us into the mental world of the individual, to glimpse the categories and logic by which he or she sees the world (, 1988, p. 9).
The following three subsections deal with the quality of qualitative research, describe participatory research, and focus on aspects of interviewing.
On the Quality of Qualitative Research
Quite a body of writings on the differences and advantages of quantitative and qualitative research is available. tried to create a summary statement of the research standards in the humanities, and found that the scheme proposed by (1961) for the assessment of scientific theory, was the most useful frame to work with:
The version of the scheme presented here is edited so that it is suitable for the evaluation of explanation instead of theory, and qualitative instead of quantitative inquiry. In a summary form, then, an explanation of qualitative data must exhibit the following conditions or (as Bunge calls them) 'symptoms of truth':
1. It must be exact, so that no unnecessary ambiguity exists.
2. It must be economical, so that it forces us to make the minimum number of assumptions and still explain the data.
3. It must be mutually consistent, so that no assertion contradicts another.
4. It must be externally consistent, so that it conforms to what we independently know about the subject matter.
5. It must be unified, so that assertions are organised in a manner that subsumes the specific within the general, unifying where possible, discriminating when necessary.
6. It must be powerful, so that it explains as much of the data as possible without sacrificing accuracy.
7. It must be fertile, so that it suggests new ideas, opportunities, or insight
These standards are vital to the evaluation of any formal explanation. But they are especially crucial to qualitative inquiry, in which there is no realistic opportunity for the replication and confirmation that exists in the natural sciences [É].
Note 22: It is worth pointing out that Bunge's original scheme of 20 'assaying criteria' was designed for the assessment of natural science theory, not social scientific explanation. It is also worth noting that seven conditions suggested here are intended as a rough and ready categorical scheme that makes up in usefulness what it lacks in philosophical rigor (McCracken, 1988, pp. 50, 76).
The US-American school of Action Research criticised the traditional research methods, receiving a conceptional stimulation from Kurt in the 1940's. Action research has included both participation and action. The action researcher typically asks for participation of clients, but the aims lie in increased academic knowledge and in solutions and actions for the management of a program (, 1987, p.9).
This reconceived method emerged in the 1970's. Participatory researchers are the participants or clients themselves, "they are to 'own' the research question and the process" (Maguire, 1987, p. viii). Participatory research is an alternative style of research, using a process of investigation, education, and action, which is aimed at the sharing of the creation of knowledge with ordinary people. It does not want to merely record facts, but has the explicit intention of collectively investigating reality in order to transform it (Maguire 1987, 3). Comparing dominant and alternative research paradigms, noted:
The power of a paradigm is that it shapes, in nearly unconscious and thus unquestioned ways, perceptions and practices within disciplines. It shapes what we look at, how we look at things, what we label as problems, what problems we consider worth investigating and solving, and what methods are preferred for investigation and action. Likewise a paradigm influences what we choose not to attend, what we do not see (Maguire, 1987, p. 11).
The guiding principle of participatory research is connected with visions of a society without domination.(31) Its assumption is that there is a political nature to all we do, that all of our work has implications for the the distribution of power in society. This means that there can be no neutral or value-free social science.(35) The participatory research process asks for clarity with regard to a researcher's value positions, identifications, and choices:
The researcher, consciously or not, is in quiet collusion with either those who have power or those who don't. Of course, many researchers never question the implications of their acceptance of dominant paradigm research assumptions. Their acceptance of the status quo is unconscious. Many are well-intentioned, caring and concerned people, attempting to live up to the standards of their discipline to produce knowledge useful to the solution of pressing social problems. Few are encouraged to 'question the questions' or the philosophical underpinnings of social research ( 1987, p. 25).
Participatory research combines the activities of social investigation, education, and action. First, it involves participation of ordinary people in problem posing and solving (investigation). Second, researcher and participants analyse the structural causes of problems through collective discussion and interaction (educational process). Third, it is a way for researcher and ordinary people to work together for social change (action). (14)Traditional research tends to treat people as passive objects(34) and the resulting knowledge is often used to expand power and control over people and the environment. Participatory research ideally deals with concerns that are raised by people of a community group themselves.(29, 43) It is aimed at empowering people by its educational processes; it helps "to rebuild people's capacity to be creative actors in the world" ( 1987, p. 30).
Patricia applied participatory research in her case study with battered women in the Battered Families Services in Gallup, New Mexico, USA. Gallup is a township of approximately 20,000 people, servicing an area of 90,000 people, of which two thirds are native Americans of the Navajo and Zuni peoples. In a quite different type of research, at the other end of the socio-economic scale, Kotter focused on leaders in complex business organisations. But both and share the notion that empowerment of people is of central importance for the creation of change. Both aim at motivating people, who often have a "feeling of powerlessness" (Kotter, 1990, 59). saw leadership as a process that creates change. , in a sense, was a leader in her participatory work with the battered women, who also felt powerlessness. A further implication of their experiences and research can be found in the basic function of empowerment in learning or educational processes.The importance of empowerment and empathy has been stressed by social scientists such as the psychologist Miriam (1983) in her practice in Boston, and the (retired) psychiatrist Gaetano (1985) who worked with psychotic patients in the Psychiatric Clinic of Basel University.
Both Maguire, Patricia; and suggested that we express a vision which inspires, empowers, and involves the people we work with. If social research is done to provide knowledge that can be used for the achievement of beneficial change in society, the research itself can be an element in the process of change. Openness, clarity of language, sharing of responsibility, and credibility as a role model will probably enhance the participants' involvement and the validity of the research.
Participatory research aims at a maximum participation of the respondents in the research process. Ideally an issue is raised by an individual or a group. The participants and the researcher have acknowledged common goals, and the whole research process is then planned and executed in close cooperation. Using this notion for interviews on environmental motivation means that the usual question-answer routine will not be applied. Instead, the topic will be explored together with the interviewee. Both interviewer and interviewee raise issues, ask questions, and state opinions. For practical reasons the researcher has to prepare for the interview and choose the central topic, but the direction that a discussion takes will depend on both interview partners.
In a participatory setting one may assume that the participants basically have the same purposes of action. The opinions about the methods to be chosen may vary, but the partners will have largely the same ultimate aim. This should normally prevent antagonism that could arise because of different goals of action. With regard to environmental motivation, however, the interviewer and interviewee may both be aware of the need for the protection of the environment, but differ considerably in their perception of the urgency and the required focus of attention. The question is whether and to what degree the interviewer should be open with regard to controversial issues. Obviously the interviewer may be very capable of defending and explaining the motives and ecological reasons for her or his perspective. But this entails a rather high risk of getting involved in a discussion about the rights and wrongs of a specific issue, and this would lead away from the purposes of the interview.
There is a large variety of opinions about the proper interviewing method, aiming at maximising the participation of interviewees who may vary considerably in their levels of active commitment or interest. Although dating back to the 1920's, the suggestions collected by (1929) about the proper interviewing methods, are still of interest:
Some of these items are commonsense, some seem specific to certain situations, but others have the strong manipulative touch that is found in a type of interviewer-interviewee relationship that Ann described:
[...] we could say that: interviewers define the role of interviewees as subordinates; extracting information is to be more valued than yielding it; the convention of interviewer-interviewee hierarchy is a rationalisation of inequality; what is good for interviewers is not necessarily good for interviewees (Oakley, Ann;, 1988, p. 40).
Oakley then outlined a different way to approach interviewees:
[...] when a feminist interviews women, (1) use of prescribed interviewing practice is morally indefensible; (2) general and irreconcilable contradictions at the heart of the textbook paradigm are exposed; and (3) it becomes clear that, in most cases, the goal of finding out about people through interviewing is best achieved when the relationship of interviewer an interviewee is non-hierarchical and when the interviewer is prepared to invest his or her own personal identity in the relationship (Oakley, Ann;, 1988, p. 41).
Helen Roberts(ed.) Ann Oakley 1988, 52 This position finds support in an account of the actual process of interviewing by (1948, 1-2), who dropped the idea of a questionnaire or formal verbal questions and instead had casual talks with working-class men on absolutely equal footing. Interviewing can easily become a one-way process, in which the interviewer elicits and receives, but does not give information. It can be questioned whether this sort of interview situation does really yield valid information. I think that it takes a certain amount of trust before an interview partner will share intimate information – in this case about environmental motivation. The use of questionnaires can lead to an interviewer attitude that allocates a narrow and objectified function as data to the interviewee. Normally, the social interaction during the interview is considered to have no personal meaning. In this way the meaning of the interview can be confined to the statistical comparability with other interviews.>However, an interview is always a two-way process. Even the responses to merely statistical questions can be influenced by the interaction.
et al., (1966), 546-550 mentioned ways in which the interviewer's own attitudes can bias the outcome of a study. They include (1) the manner in which the interviewer responds to the statements made by the interviewee, (2) a bias resulting from the interviewer's own expectations, leading to a biased perception of an interviewee's answer, (3) an influence on the responses given because of observable characteristics of the interviewer, and (4) a bias introduced by an interviewer-response pattern that results from the unique interaction of two individuals, each with their own socio-cultural background. & (1975) referred to the psycho-analytical notions of transference and counter-transference and suggested that the feelings and responses elicited by the interviewee in the interviewer can also contribute to understanding the interviewee.
drew special attention to the notions that:
[É] every face-to-face interview also involves and requires observation. The skilled interviewer is also a skilled observer, able to read non-verbal messages, sensitive to how the interview setting can affect what is said, and carefully attuned to the nuances of the interviewer-interviewee interaction and relationships (Patton, 1987, p. 13, original italics).
The conversational interviewer must be able to interact easily with people in a variety of settings, to generate rapid insights, to formulate questions quickly and smoothly, and to guard against asking questions that impose interpretations on the situation by the structure of the questions Oakley 1988, 30>. For analytic purposes, it is necessary to capture not only the responses, that is the interviewee's notions of her or his motivation, but also the context in which the responses were given. "This context is, in a matter of speaking, [É] the small amount of seawater that keeps the catch alive" (, 1988, p. 25). I would add that it may allow a further interpretation, if the interviewee's accounts are considered in relation to the context of the interview on the one hand, and the interviewee's larger social context on the other. The interview represents an hermeneutic (exploring) approach, which seeks:
'The hermeneutic approach [É] 'to elucidate and make explicit our practical understanding of human actions by providing interpretations of them' (, 1985, p. 1088). Unlike phenomenology, hermeneutics is not concerned with 'the experienced intention of the actor', but takes 'action as an access through which to interpret the larger social context of meaning within which it is embedded' (, 1987, p. 15, cited in Tesch, 1990, p. 37).
et al. described how the cultural difference between a German interviewer and interviewees with a low per capita income in a US-American metropolitan area facilitates the concern with speech. The interviewer had a believable and factual non-initiate position as to slang expressions and details of the TV shows that were investigated. This <created less defensiveness from the informants, who were in a position, as members of the culture and authorities on US television, to speak to the foreigners with competence and expertise> (Seiter et al., 1989, 226). I have experienced this advantage of being a foreigner in a good number of formal and informal interviews during my studies in Switzerland and New Zealand. It has helped me to bridge differences in age, social class, sex, and race. From my own experience as a sales engineer I would say that an interviewer should show her or his honest interest in the discussion partner and, before all, rather listen than speak. The last advice was apparently already given by in 300 B
"The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen more and speak less" (cited in 1987, 108).
The practice of Learning Tests in former East Germany (GDR) provides a model for the structuring of interviews in a participatory spirit, creating a context for both investigating and discussing environmental motivation. Learning tests were designed and used in the GDR, instead of the classical intelligence tests (, 1982). A Learning Test consists of three stages: instruction, pre-test, learning phase, post-test.
An interview which combines ideas of participatory research and learning tests could be called a Progressive Learning Interview. It is progressive since the depth of dealing with an issue may progress more or less rapidly, depending on the level of knowledge of the interview partners. It is learning (rather than teaching) since both partners learn from each other, though in different ways and possibly on different knowledge levels and with a different focus. The term 'learning' is also chosen since it reflects an ideal of human equality in spite of knowledge differences. A reciprocal learning situation and structuring of the interview will potentially be less threatening to the interviewee. A research interview situation has an inherent tendency to let the interviewer appear in a power position. Often this power is very real, and justifiably perceived as threatening by the interviewee. A reciprocal questioning procedure may help to create a power balance. (1977, cited in , 1990, 36) suggested an intimate cooperation between researcher and participant. Renata Tesch followed that such a relationship will involve learning and even personal growth for both parties.
In the final paragraph of her chapter on qualitative research in psychology, Tesch suggested that critical emancipatory research would demonstrate:
'why individuals have the distorted self-understanding that they do, and how they can be corrected' ( & , 1986, p. 137, cited in Tesch 1990, 38). [É] [applied in psychology], it would track down automatic mechanisms in thinking and acting that have a cultural origin. It would reveal dispositions that rest on culture and tradition É a person's manner of life could be called into question through reflection (, 1983, p. 162) [É] Critical emancipatory psychology has not yet produced a substantial body of research, but the basic notion of accepting and even
making use of value stances of the researcher is beginning to seep into other disciplines as well (, 1990, p. 38).
Age, appearance, facial expressions, body language, verbal expression, social background, and personality of the interviewer all play a role in the interaction with the interviewee. The interviewee will form an impression of the interviewer and may intuitively know whether the interviewer's words fit the impression s/he makes.
remarked that respondents "judge the institutional affiliation of the investigator, the project description, and even her or his appearance, mode of dress, and patterns of speech", and that this can "dramatically influence whether and how the respondent responds to the questions they are asked" (McCracken, 1988, pp. 25-26). As a Dutchman, immigrated to New Zealand in 1990, it would be difficult to follow his advice to the (sociologist) researcher: "If the investigator does not carefully control these cues, they will confound the nature of the respondent's participation in the interview and the data he or she provides" (McCracken, 1988, p. 26).
Ultimately, honesty about intentions and explicit value standpoints will yield the best reward for both interview partners. But it also means that the interviewer has to be aware of the fine line that lies between disapproval and approval of the interviewee. Presenting one's own position positively is correct as long as it is done in such a way that it respects the values and integrity of the interview partner, and this is what I decided to do in learning interview settings.
Summary of Introduction
This chapter first described the state of the environment, ecology, and economy, as a baseline for assessment and interpretation of environmental behaviours, opinions, and perceptions of interviewees.
The degradation and destruction of our environment were seen as the result of unrestrained human activity, energy usage, population pressure, and the ideologies of growth and technology. It was suggested that we deal with the primary problems, rather than displacement solutions, by means of de-industrialisation, a drastic reduction of waste producing activities, and a reduction of the population pressure.
The attainment of peace of mind and material well-being was seen as the basic motivation in life, with care and cooperation as natural human tendencies. Obedience to authority was regarded as the major culturally conditioned motivation for adult behaviour in our society. It was suggested that environmental motivation and change would be enhanced by empowering the individual, satisfying basic human needs for autonomy and community, and by changing societal rules. The environmental issue was described as a conflict of human values of our present generations, whereby environmental motivation depends on personal perspectives and interests. Environmental awareness appeared widespread, but environmental education was found biased within existing conservative thinking patterns.
The discussion of environmentally sensitive behaviours demonstrated the difficulty in distinguishing between environmentally sound behaviours and practices that are actually counter-productive. It was suggested that it would be wise to choose those products that involve the lowest degree of technology.
The above led to a list of basic questions and aims concerning environmental motivation, environmentally sensitive practices, and perceptions of commoners and leaders. The aim was to identify processes, catalysts, and prompts that lead to environmentally sensitive practices, environmental motivation, and change, while contrasting commoners and leaders. The factual causes and processes of environmental degradation should become related to adult environmental motivation and the environmental benefits of environmentally sensitive practices.
Finally an emancipatory research method was chosen, with the expectation of bringing participatory notions into a reciprocal learning interview context.Hamilton, January 1992 - Helmut Lubbers
Footnotes: yet to be attributed to the pages (lots of manual work, because of incorrect conversion of MS word 6 (mac) to word 97 and conversion to html - December 2014)
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