The justification of illegal anti-ecological behavior

  1. Ana María Martín Rodríguez
  2. Cristina Ruiz Pacheco
  3. Isabel Alonso Rodríguez

ISSN: 0214-9915

Year of publication: 2013

Volume: 25

Issue: 3

Pages: 336-341

Type: Article


Background: Not everyone considers breaches of environmental laws as reprehensible behaviors or to the same extent. Research on the causal explanations of illegal anti-ecological behavior given by individuals is useful to analyze the social support of environmental laws and their consolidation as social and/or personal norms. This study aims to analyze the explanations selected by participants as most likely for environmental transgressions perpetrated by other persons in participants� surroundings. Method: 573 persons of both genders, aged between 17 and 74 years, living in a setting of high environmental protection answered a questionnaire including seven environmental breaches and 11 scales related to the amount of punishment that they would mete out to perpetrators, and possible causal explanations of the facts being described. Results: Data show that people generally consider illegal anti-ecological behavior as a reflection of the "badness" of perpetrators, but that certain circumstances can lead anyone to behave illegally in environmental terms. Conclusions: These results are discussed comparing participants� explanations with the explanations given by environmental transgressors in previous studies.

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