John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Hierarchy of values and green behaviour Volume 9, issue 4, Juillet-Août 2010


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Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense EA 4431 « Psychologie des Acquisitions du Développement social et des Interactions en Contextes » (PsyADIC) Département de psychologie 200, avenue de la République 92001 Nanterre France

Defined as a set of ideals and moral principles, our value system is considered to be an evaluative process that guides our behavioral choices and thus, in particular, our environmental behaviour. After describing the concept of values in the main models explaining environmentally friendly behaviour, we illustrate the subject with a field study that investigated the adoption of battery recycling behaviour. A sample of 162 secondary school students aged 13 to 17 completed a questionnaire to assess their value system and recycling behaviour before and during the implementation of a used-battery collection system. The results are encouraging, showing that 74% of the subjects recycled their used batteries during this period (compared to only 9% before the system was set up). Moreover, the findings suggest that this environmentally friendly behaviour can be predicted by the value sub-scales of environmentalism, openness to change and, to a lesser extent, knowledge seeking.