Background. Environmental Identity (EID) is a construct that demonstrates the extent to which people perceive themselves as a part of nature, incorporated in it, and defined by it. This concept, despite being relatively new, has proven to be associated with various beneficial traits such as emotional calmness, vigor, reduced stress, increased attentiveness, and positive mental effect (Kals, Schumacher, & Montada; Pretty et al.; Hartig et al., Raanaas et al.). It is also connected with nature conservation behavior and empathy towards people and nature (Scott & Willits; Paul, Hartmann, & Apaolaza-Ibáñez; Tam; Modi & Patel).
While there have been analyses correlating personality traits with other nature-related concepts –– e.g., environmental engagement, environmental concern, and ecological behavior (Milfont & Sibley; Wuertz; Markowitz et al.), there is little evidence of which personality traits are connected with Environmental Identity.
Objective. Current research has three objectives: 1) to test the connection between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing on a Russian sample; 2) to discover which personality traits are connected with Environmental Identity; and 3) to find out whether or not these personality traits moderate the Environmental Identity – Mental Wellbeing connection. Three hundred and twelve (312) students, of which79.2% were females, participated in the study. The majority of participants (90.4%) were undergraduate students at Russian universities under 20 years old.
Methods. To perform our study, we used the Environmental Identity scale, the Short Big Five, and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Results. We confirmed the connection between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing on a Russian sample. Openness to Experience was the only significant personality trait predictor of Environmental Identity. Moderation analysis did not reveal any personality traits to be significant moderators between Environmental Identity and Mental Wellbeing.Conclusion. We concluded that the impact of Environmental Identity on Mental Wellbeing does not depend on specific personality traits, suggesting that it has a universal resource function, and is importance for Russian people in general in terms of their mental wellness.
Keywords: Environmental Identity (EID); mental wellbeing; nature; personality.
Background. Personal authenticity, the ability to be true to oneself, is traditionally studied from the perspective of its protective role for the individual and is only beginning to be studied in relation to the surrounding world. In this study, we suggest that authentic people may be more aware and concerned about their environment then less authentic people. The theoretical foundations for our work were: the person-centered approach; subject psychology; and modern research on pro-environmental behavior.
Objective. We presented our understanding of personal authenticity within Russian subject psychology, developed the standardized instruments necessary for carrying out our main aim, and explored the links between authenticity and pro-environmental behavior in both person-centered and subject psychology.
Design. Four hundred thirty (430) Russian students (Mage = 19.19; SDage = 1.22; 79.5% women) participated in the study. Authenticity was measured both by the revised Russian version of the Authenticity Scale, and a new tool, the Moscow Authenticity Scale, which was developed on the basis of subject psychology. To measure pro-environmental behavior, we created a new instrument called the Ecological Lifestyle Scale, which included Social Activities and Ecological Self-restraint subscales.
Results. Using the two new scales, the Moscow Authenticity Scale and the Ecological Lifestyle Scale, along with a modification of the Authenticity scale, we found that authenticity, considered within the framework of subject psychology, provided a more nuanced picture of the relationship between personal authenticity and pro-environmental behavior than the person-centered model did. Women were more likely to exercise pro-environmental behavior than men; however, the connections between personal authenticity and pro-environmental behavior were stronger in the male group.
Conclusion. Authenticity is associated with pro-environmental behavior but does not predict it accurately enough. Future research on moderating or mediating variables is suggested.
Keywords: authenticity/ pro-environmental behavior/ person-centered psychology/ subjective psychology/ gender/ Moscow authenticity scale/ ecological lifestyle scale