Environmental Action and Locus of Control: Validation of the Perceived Environmental Control Measure
Tulman, Jonathan E.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The major purpose of this research was to gather data on the construct validity on the Perceived Environmental Control Measure (PECM), a questionnaire designed to measure Locus of Control specific to environmental activism, and to investigate the potential influence of social desirability on subjects' responses. Test instruments were administered to the following populations: A) college students enrolled in an environmental interpretation class (N=45); B) college students enrolled in a psychology class (N=37); C) members of the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society (N=54). In order to assess construct validity, Pearson Product- Moment correlations were made between a measure of citizen/ environmental action and the Internal (I) , Powerful Others (P) , and Chance (C) subscales of the PECM for each of the populations. To determine the influence of social desirability, Pearson Product-Moment correlations were made between the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS) and the I, P, and C subscales for each of the populations. The data indicated that a significant relationship (p<.05) existed between citizen/environmental action scores and the I, P, and C scales for only the Audubon group. The highest correlation was r = -.313. No significant relationship existed between citizen/environmental action scores and the I, P, and C scales for either the environmental interpretation students or the psychology students. The data further indicated that a significant relationship (p<.OS) existed between the MCSDS and the I subscale for only the psychology students. No significant relationship existed between the MCSDS and any of the subscales for either of the other research groups, or between the MCSDS and the P and C subscales for the psychology students. Implications of these results and recommendations for future research are discussed.