Ecological behavior and its environmental consequences: A life cycle assessment of a self-report measure

Kaiser, F., Doka, G., Hofstetter, P., & Ranney, M. (2003). Ecological behavior and its environmental consequences: A life cycle assessment of a self-report measure. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23(1), 11-20.

The environmental impact of individuals, namely, how much they pollute and what resources they consume, is of paramount importance. However, even environmental psychologists rarely study levels of pollution or resource and energy savings. The present paper aims to ecologically validate 52 behaviors of a well-established self-report measure of ecological conduct (i.e. the General Ecological Behavior scale; Kaiser, J. Appl. Social Phychol. 28 (1998) 395, using the items' environmental consequences. Our objective is to contrast a behavior's environmental consequences with the comparable effect of a reasonable alternative. By means of applying data from available Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) literature and databases, two LCA experts were able to compare each of 52 performance pairs' overall environmental impact. None of the 30 presumably ecological behaviors of the scale turned out to be less environmentally effective than its alternative, and none of the 22 unecological behaviors turned out to be more environmentally effective than its alternative. The correspondence between a behavior's environmental consequences and its scale-incorporated, presumed, impact falls between 79% and 100%, both being statistically significant.

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