Construction of indicators of environmental beliefs from the NEP scale
Keywords:Beliefs, environmental awareness, NEP scale, indicators
The "New Ecological Paradigm (NEP)" Scale has been widely used as an analysis tool of the environmental beliefs, known as the assessment and opinions facing environmental problems. Nevertheless, its indiscriminate use for measuring any kind of parameters on environmental concern beyond said beliefs has been detrimental to its strength. Furthermore, there is a consensus that, in itself, the NEP has some relevant inconsistencies and limitations. This paper introduces a methodological proposal to improve the utility and applicability of the NEP Scale by constructing specific indicators of environmental beliefs from their items, which may be incorporated as part of general environmental awareness measurement systems, and also helping to offer an in-depth approach of the understanding and the strengthening of this concept. The determination of these indicators originates in the factor analysis and subsequent arithmetic averages calculation of the scalar assessment given to each group of item references. The research takes place at the Universidad de Córdoba (Spain) during the year 2008-2009, within a sample of 1082 students (averaging 21.6 years old, 42.8% male and 57.2% female). The results gave place to the definition of three indicators regarding to adhesion to environmental beliefs: ‘ecocentrism’, ‘anthropocentrism’ and ‘consciousness of the limits of the biosphere resources’, which were part of a multidimensional system of environmental awareness indicators.