Self, Identity, and the Natural Environment: Exploring Implicit Connections with Nature

Schultz, P., & Tabanico, J. (2007). Self, identity, and the natural environment: Exploring implicit connections with nature. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37(6), 1219-1247.

Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT), we examined the tendency for people to associate self with natural or built environments, the malleability of these scores across context, and the relationship between these implicit associations and explicit attitudes about environmental issues. Five studies are reported using a handheld IAT administration in a variety of field contexts. The psychometric properties of the handheld administration were comparable to those obtained with laboratory administration. The cumulative results across the 5 studies suggest that implicit self-nature associations are malleable, but that change requires long-term or repeated experiences. Findings are interpreted within a model of environmental identity.

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