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Environmental values and beliefs in university students.
Alvaro Palazuelos (author)Annie Booth (Thesis advisor)University of Northern British Columbia (Degree granting institution)
Master of Arts (MA)
Natural Resources & Environmental Studies
Number of pages in document: 111
People's personal values and beliefs are believed to be a key factor underlying their willingness to engage in environmental conservation. Values are learned throughout the individual's life, and educational institutions are assumed to be a vital part of that socializing process. The present research explores whether different academic programs at the university-level have an influence on the values of the students in those programs. In previous research, values that are associated with environmental conservation include: environmental values, values of equality and justice, and of benevolence towards others. The values that have been linked to anti-environmental orientations are beliefs in the importance of growth and technology, valuing power and wealth, and having an utilitarian approach to nature. Using a cross-sectional quasi-experimental design, students in the 1st and 4th year of five university programs, Environmental Studies (N= 22), Biology (B= 55), Health Sciences (N= 49), Environmental Engineering (N= 37) and Commerce (N= 67), completed a questionnaire that assessed the above values and beliefs. Contrary to predictions, within the different academic programs there were no significant value differences between 1st and 4th year students. This finding suggests that students' program of study does not have a strong influence on their values. Instead it appears that students select a program of study that matches the values they hold when they enter university. This is supported by the significant differences found amongst the results of students majoring in different academic programs. In addition to completing the values measures, fourth year participants were also asked to reflect upon the education they received over the course of their undergraduate degree and to indicate the following for a subset of the values: (1) which values were fostered the most by their academic program and (2) what values they believed had strengthened or weakened as a function of their education. In terms of values fostere
Environmentalism -- Study and teaching (Higher)College students -- British Columbia -- Prince George -- Attitudes.