Do children play fair with mother nature? Understanding children’s judgments of environmentally harmful actions

Research
TitleDo children play fair with mother nature? Understanding children’s judgments of environmentally harmful actions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHussar, KM, Horvath, JC
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume31
Issue4
Pagination309 - 313
Date Published2011/12//
ISBN Number0272-4944
KeywordsBiocentric, environment, Homocentric, Morality
AbstractThe current study asks how young children judge behaviors that harm the environment as compared to moral transgressions, social-conventional transgressions, and personal choices. This study also questions whether children are more likely to cite biocentric or homocentric reasons when justifying their judgments of environmentally harmful behaviors. To answer these questions, sixty-one 6–10 year olds were asked to judge the severity of various actions that impact the environment. For comparison, participants also judged moral transgressions, social-conventional transgressions, and personal choices. Children judged actions that harm the environment more severely than social-conventional transgressions but not as severely as moral transgressions. When justifying their judgments of these environmentally harmful behaviors, participants were more likely to reference biocentric reasons as compared to homocentric reasons. The findings suggest that children perceive harm to the environment as bad, but harm to humans as worse.
URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494411000351
Short TitleJournal of Environmental Psychology