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Introduction

The emergence of societal awareness of environmental problems was quickly followed by efforts to assess individuals' concerns about environmental quality. Over a thousand published articles reporting empirical investigations of environmental attitudes, beliefs, values, etc. have been published in the past few decades. These studies have employed a huge variety of differing techniques to assess aspects of individuals' concern for the state of the environment, or ‘environmental concern’, leading some observers to see the literature as hopelessly disorganized (Heberlein, 1981: 242). The goal of this entry is to clarify the conceptual foundations of environmental concern and review major assessment techniques employed to measure it.

Conceptual Ambiguities: Environment as an Attitude Object

Heberlein (1981: 242) noted that, ‘The great difficulty with even thinking about environmental attitudes is the ...

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