Degree Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

John Petersen
Cindy Frantz

Committee Member(s)

Tom Newlin, Chair

Keywords

Connectedness to Nature Scale, CNS, Electricity consumption, Oberlin -- behavior

Abstract

Much research has been done surrounding conservation behaviors in the household and electricity consumption. Most research has tended to focus on attitudes about the environment and how those attitudes influence pro-environmental behavior, but the research has not usually found a strong link between the two. The Connectedness to Nature Scale was used in this study to measure emotional responses to nature, and to determine whether people who felt more connected to nature used less electricity in the household. The residents of the Union Street Housing complex at Oberlin College were chosen as the group monitored for this project, as the houses had the same baseline consumption data and the residents had no fiscal incentives to conserve electricity. I compared the emotional response to nature with attitudes about the environment and electricity consumption per house. I concluded that emotional response to nature had a correlational relationship with electricity consumption, and that attitudes about electricity consumption were very predictive of behavior, probably because the data measured attitudes about very specific behaviors. This was the first time the CNS was correlated with actual behavior. Recommendations were made for further studies that might establish a causal link between connectedness to nature and electricity consumption.

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