The article ‘Self-construals and environmental values in 55 cultures‘ might be of interest to some of you. How do our connections and commitments to others relate to our environmental values? The authors address this question with data from 7279 members of 55 cultural groups from 33 nations.
Environmentalism is influenced by views of the self. In past research, individuals who saw themselves as more interdependently connected to others expressed greater environmental concern than those who saw themselves as more independent from others. Yet, cross-cultural evidence is limited. In this pre-registered study, we tested how seven ways of being interdependent or independent correlated with environmental values among 7279 members of 55 cultural groups from 33 nations. Consistent with our predictions, environmental values were strongly associated with several forms of interdependent self-construal, supporting parallels between self–other and self–nature relations. Specifically, two interdependent forms of self-construal showed consistent cross-cultural correlations: those who saw themselves as more connected to others and those who emphasized commitment to others above self-interest were more likely to endorse the value of looking after the environment. Extending previous conceptions, one way of being independent correlated reliably with environmentalism: those who saw themselves as consistent across contexts were also more likely to endorse environmental values. Multilevel moderation analysis indicated that commitment to others had stronger correlations with environmental values in nations with greater environmental performance and national development. We conclude that improving social connectedness and cohesion, alongside the protection of natural ecosystems, may be imperative for tackling the global climate crisis.