The socio-psychological affinity towards diversity: From biodiversity to socia-ecological sustainability

Mirilia Bonnes*, Giuseppe Carrus, Victor Corral-Verdugo, Paola Passafaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This chapter discusses the concept of Affinity Towards Diversity (ATD), defined as a socio-psychological predisposition to appreciate the dynamic variety of human-nature interactions in everyday life situations. It is posited that ATD goes beyond a mere superficial acceptance for variation in social and physical contexts. Rather, we assume that ATD implies the deep enjoyment and positive evaluation of the diversities existing in the surrounding environment, at both the biological and socio-cultural levels. The topic is addressed in the light of the increasing importance that ecological sciences (biological and social) are assigning to the conservation of biological and cultural diversity within socio-ecological systems, in order to achieve a more sustainable development. The results of an empirical study on the role of ATD, as a socio-psychological driver of a pro-sustainability orientation and pro-environmental friendly behaviors, are presented and discussed. These results show that ATD positively covary with a series of measures of altruism, future orientation, feelings of indignation due to environmental degradation, and attitudes towards green areas in the city, which in turn, are interrelated. This interrelation produces a higher-order construct that we called "pro-sustainability orientation" (PSO). Results of a structural equation model show that PSOE positively influences ATD, altruism, future orientation, attitudes towards integration of urban green areas, and feelings of indignation due to environmental degradation, and negatively affects attitudes that oppose integration of urban green areas. PSO also influences the self-report of pro-environmental behaviors. The model results also confirm that people more attracted to bio and socio-diversity are also more tolerant individuals. Thus, ATD seems to be linked to a series of indicators of sustainable practices and predispositions. The practical implications of these results for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychological Approaches to Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Trends in Theory, Research and Applications
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages125-140
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781626188778
StatePublished - 2013

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