Examining the Mediating Role of Altruism in the Relationship between Empathic Tendencies, the Nature Relatedness, and Environmental Consciousness
A study was conducted using a correlational screening model to determine the mediating effect of altruism in the relationship between empathic tendencies, the nature relatedness and environmental consciousness. The participants of the study, selected via random cluster sampling design, are composed of 305 pre-school teachers working in pre-schools and kindergartens in a city located in Turkey’s Aegean region. The ‘Empathic Tendency Scale’, ‘Altruism Scale’, ‘Nature Relatedness Scale’, and ‘Environmental Consciousness Scale’ were used as data collection tools. The analyses of the sub-purposes were carried out using the PROCESS macro (Model 4) developed by Andrew Hayes using the SPSS infrastructure. When the study results were examined, the indirect effects of the empathic tendency on nature relatedness and environmental consciousness were found to be significant. Thus, altruism was the mediator for the relationship between the empathic tendency and nature relatedness (β=.13, 95% BCA CI [.08; .19]) and for the relationship between emphatic tendency and environmental consciousness (β=.36, %95 BCA CI [.18; .57]).
Ak, S. (2008). İlköğretim öğretmen adaylarının çevreye yönelik bilinçlerinin bazı demografik değişkenler açısından incelenmesi [Search of primary school teacher candidates' towards environmental consciousness due some demographic variables] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Abant İzzet Baysal University.
Andreoni, J., & Rao, J. M. (2011). The power of asking; How communication affects selfishness, empathy and altruism. Journal of Public Economics, 95(7–8), 513–520.
Barr, J. J., & Higgins D’Alessandro, A. (2007). Adolescent empathy and prosocial behavior in the multidimensional context of school culture. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 168(3), 231–250.
Basile, C. H. (2000). Environmental education as a catalyst for transfer of learning in young children. The Journal of Environmental Education, 32(1), 21–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00958960009598668
Batson, C. D. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Batson, C. D., & Ahmad, N. (2001). Empathy-induced altruism in a Prisoner’s Dilemma II: What if the target of empathy has defected? European Journal of Social Psychology, 31(1), 25–36. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.26
Batson, C. D., Duncan, B. D, Ackerman, P., Buckley, T., & Birch, K. (1981). Is empathic emotion a source of altruistic motivation? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(2), 290–302. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1680
Baylan, E. (2009). Doğaya ilişkin inançlar, kültür ve çevre sorunları arasındaki ilişkilerin kuramsal bağlamda irdelenmesi [Examination of connections among nature believes, culture and environmental problems in theoretical context]. Ankara University Journal of Environmental Sciences, 1(2), 67–74.
Berenguer, J. (2007). The effect of empathy in pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours. Environment and Behaviour, 39(2), 269–283. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916506292937
Berenguer, J. (2010). The effect of empathy in environmental moral reasoning. Environment and Behaviour, 42(1), 110–134. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916506292937
Boudon, R., & Bourricaud, F. (2003). A critical dictionary of sociology (P. Hamilton, Trans). Routledge.
Bruni, C. M., Chance, R. C., & Schultz, P. W. (2012). Measuring values based environmental concerns in children: An environmental motives scale. The Journal of Environmental Education, 43(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2011.583945
Budak, S. (2009). Psikoloji sözlüğü [Psychology dictionary] (4th ed.). Bilim ve Sanat Yayınları.
Burks, D. J., Youll, L. K., & Durstchi, J. P. (2012). The empathy-altruism association and its relevance to health care professions. Social Behaviour and Personality, 40(3), 395–400. https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.3.395
Chawla, L. (1999). Life paths into effective environmental action. The Journal of Environmental Education, 31(1), 15–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958969909598628
Creswell, J.W. (2015). Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (5th ed.). Pearson.
Cialdini, R. B., Brown, S. L., Lewis, B. P., Luce, C., & Neuberg, S. L. (1997). Reinterpreting the empathy-altruism relationship when one into one equals oneness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(3), 481–494. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1241
Coke, S. J., Batson, C. D., & McDavis, K. (1978). Empathic mediation of helping. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(7), 752–766. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1992
Çakır, B., Karaarslan, G., Şahin, E., & Ertenpınar, H. (2015). Doğayla ilişki ölçeğinin Türkçe’ye adaptasyonu [Adaptation of nature relatedness scale to Turkish]. Primary Education Online, 14(4), 1370–1383.
Darling Hammond, L. (2000). Teacher quality and student achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 8(1), 1–44. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v8n1.2000
Dökmen, Ü. (1988). Empatinin yeni bir modele dayanarak ölçülmesi ve psikodrama ile geliştirilmesi [Measuring empathy based on a new model and developing it with psychodrama]. Ankara University Journal of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 21(1), 155–190. https://doi.org/10.1501/Egifak_0000000999
Dökmen, Ü. (2017). İletişim çatışmaları ve empati [Communication conflicts and empathy]. Remzi Kitapevi.
Dutcher, D. D., Finley, J. C., Lullof, A. E., & Johnson, J. B. (2007). Connectivity with nature as a measure of environmental values. Environment and Behaviour, 39(4), 474–493. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916506298794
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. (2000, November 3). Role of environmental awareness in achieving sustainable development. https://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstream/handle/11362/31562/1/S00111003_en.pdf
Eisenberg, N. (2015). Altruistic emotion, cognition and behaviour (5th ed.). Psychology Press.
Erten, S. (2005). Okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarında çevre dostu davranışların araştırılması [Investigation of preservice preschool teachers’ behaviours related to environmental awareness]. Hacettepe University Journal of the Faculty of Education, 28, 91–100.
Erten, S. (2012). Türk ve Azeri öğretmen adaylarında çevre bilinci [Environmental consciousness among Turkish and Azeri candidate teachers]. Education and Science, 37(166), 89–100.
Genç, S., & Z., Kalafat, T. (2010). Öğretmen adaylarının empatik becerileri ile problem çözme becerileri [Prospective teachers’ problem solving skills and emphatic skills]. Journal of the Theoretical Pedagogy, 3(2), 135–147.
Ghazali, E. M., Nguyen, B., Mutum, D. S., & Yap, S. F. (2019). Pro-environmental behaviours and value-belief-norm theory: Assessing unobserved heterogeneity of two ethnic groups. Sustainability, 11(12), 3237. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123237
Gintis, H., Bowles, S., Boyd, R., & Fehr, E. (2003). Explaining altruistic behaviour in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 24(3),153–172. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(02)00157-5
Gürbüz, S. (2019). Sosyal bilimlerde aracı, düzenleyici ve durumsal etki analizleri [Intermediary, regulatory and situational impact analysis in social sciences]. Seçkin Yayıncılık.
Harper, C. & Snowden M. (2017). Environment and society; Human perspectives on Environmental Issues (6th ed.). Routledge.
Karaismailoğlu, E. S. (2018). Öğretmenlerin çevre bilinci düzeyinin belirlenmesi- Ankara Etimesgut örneği [Determination of teachers' environmental consciousness level- Ankara Etimesgut example] (Unpublished master’s thesis). Hacettepe University.
Kawakami, K., & Takai Kawakami, K. (2015). Teaching, caring, and altruistic behaviors in toddlers. Infant Behavior and Development, 41, 108–112. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2015.08.007
Keenan, T., & Evans, S. (2009). An introduction to child development. Sage Foundations of Psychology.
Kernan, M. (2010). Space and place as a source of belonging and participation in urban environments: Considering the role of early childhood education and care settings. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 18(2), 199–213. https://doi.org/10.1080/13502931003784420
Khalil, E. L. (2004). What is altruism? Journal of Economic Psychology, 25(1), 97–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-4870(03)00075-8
Kidd, A., & Kidd, R. M. (1997). Characteristics and motivations of docents in wildlife education. Psychological Reports, 81(2),383–386. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.19188.8.131.523
Kollmuss, A., & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behaviour? Environmental Education Research, 8(3), 239–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504620220145401
Krebs, D. (1975). Empathy and altruism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32(6),1134–1146. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2064
Krebs, D. L., & Van Hesteren, F. (1992). The development of altruistic personality. In P. M. Oliner, S .P. Oliner, L. Baron, L. A. Blum, D. L. Krebs, & M. Z. Smolenska (Eds), Embracing the other: Philosophical, psychological and historical perspectives of altruism (pp. 142–169). NYU Press.
Kurisu, K. (2005). Pro-environmental behaviours. Springer Japan.
Lam, C. M. (2012). Prosocial involvement as a positive youth development construct: A conceptual review. The Scientific World Journal, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1100/2012/769158
Landy, C. (2018). The state of outdoor education in Northeast Tennessee: Pre-school teacher attitudes toward (Electronic Theses and Dissertations). Paper 3453. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3453
Leeds, R. (1963). Altruism and the norm of giving. Merril-Palmer Quarterly of Behaviour and Development, 9(3), 229–240. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23082789
Lenski, G. E. (1966). Power privilege: a theory of social stratification. McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Lohr, V. I., & Pearson Mims, C. H. (2005). Children’s active and passive interactions with plants influence their attitudes and actions toward trees and gardening as adults. HortTechnology, 15(3), 472–476. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.15.3.0472
Louv, R. (2008). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
Mayer, S. F., & Frantz, C. M. (2004). The connectedness to nature scale: A measure of individuals’ feeling in community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(4), 503–515. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2004.10.001
Mehrabian, A., & Epstein, N. (1972). A measure of emotional empathy. Journal of Personality, 40(4), 525–543. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1972.tb00078.x
Meier, D., & Sisk Hilton, S. (2017). Nature and environmental education in early childhood. The New Educator, 13(3), 191–194. https://doi.org/10.1080/1547688X.2017.1354646
Milfont, T. L., & Duckitt, J. (2006). Preservation and utilization: Understanding the structure of environmental attitudes. Medio Ambiente y Comportamiento Humano, 7(1), 29–50.
Morgan, G. A., Leech N. L., Gloeckner, G. W., & Barret, K. C. (2004). SPSS for introductory statistics: Use and interpretation (2nd ed.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Nisbet, E. K., Zelenski, J. M., & Murphy, S. A. (2009). The nature relatedness scale linking individuals’ connection with nature to environmental concern and behaviour. Environment and Behaviour, 41(5), 715–740. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916508318748
Nyaga, J. W. (2011). Relationship between teacher altruism and the level of altruism in pre-school children in Westlands division Nairobi, Kenya (Unpublished master’s thesis). Kenyatta University.
Orbanić, N. D., & Kovač, N. (2021). Environmental awareness, attitudes, and behaviour of preservice pre-school and primary school teachers. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 20(3), 373–388. https://doi.org/10.33225/jbse/21.20.373
Palmer, J., Suggate, J., Bajd. B., & Tsaliki, E. (1998). Significant influences on the development of adults’ environmental awareness in the UK, Slovenia and Greece, Environmental Education Research, 4(4), 429–444. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350462980040407
Palmer, J. A., Suggate, J., Robottom, I., & Hart, P. (1999). Significant life experiences and formative influences on the development of adults’ environmental awareness in the UK, Australia and Canada. Environmental Education Research, 5(2), 181–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350462990050205
Robinson, E. H., & Curry, J. R. (2005). Promoting altruism in the classroom. Childhood Education, 82(2), 68–73. https://doi.org/10.1080/00094056.2006.10521349
Rushton, J. P., Chrisjohn, R. D., & Fekken, G. C. (1981). The altruistic personality and self report altruism scale. Person and Individual Differences, 2(4), 293–302. https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(81)90084-2
Samuelsson, P. I., & Kaga, Y. (2008). The contribution of early childhood education to a sustainable society. UNESCO.
Schultz, P. W. (2000). Empwith nature: The effects of perspective taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 391–406. https://doi.org/10.1111/0022-4537.00174
Schultz, P. W. (2001). The structure of environmental concern: concern for self, other people, and the biosphere. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21(4), 327–339. https://doi.org/10.1006/jevp.2001.0227
Schultz, P. W., Gouveia, V. V., Cameron, L. D., Tankha, G., Schmuck, P., & Franìk, M. (2005). Values and their relationship to environmental concern and conservation behavior. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 36(4), 457–475. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022105275962
Schultz, P. W., Shriver, C., Tabanico, J., & Khazian, A. (2004). Implicit connections with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(1), 31–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0272-4944(03)00022-7
Scott, N., & Seglow, J. (2007). Concepts in the social science: Altruism. Open University Press.
Selby, D. (2017). Education for sustainable development, nature and vernacular learning. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 7(1), 9–27.
Sevillano, V., Aragones, J., & Schultz, P. W. (2007). Perspective taking, environmental concern adn the moderating role of dispositional empathy. Environment and Behaviour, 35(5), 685–705. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916506292334
Sirivianou, N., & Papadimitriou, E. (2018). Cultivating environmental consciousness during early childhood-kindergarten teachers’ views on the role of social values. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 13(3), 343–356.
Snelgar, R. S. (2006). Egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric environmental concerns: Measurement and structure. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26(2), 87–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2006.06.003
Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2009). Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(3), 309–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.10.004
Stern, P. C., & Dietz, T. (1994). The value basis of environmental concern. Journal of Social Issues, 50(3), 65–84.
Stern, P. C., Dietz, T., Abel, T., Guagnano, G. A., & Kalof, L. (1999). A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: The case of environmentalism. Human ecology review, 6(2), 81–97.
Stern, P. C., Dietz, T., Kalof, L., & Guagnano, G. A. (1995). Values, beliefs, and pro-environmental action: Attitude formation toward emergent attitude change. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25, 1611–1636. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1995.tb02636.x
Tam, K. P. (2013). Dispositional empathy with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 35, 92–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.05.004
Tanja-Dijkstra, K., Maas, J., Van Dijk-Wesselius, J., & Van den Berg, A. (2019). Children and the natural environment. In L. Steg & J. I. M. de Groot (Eds.), Environmental Psychology. An introduction (pp. 95−103). Wiley.
Tekeş, B., & Hasta, D. (2015). Özgecilik ölçeği: Geçerlik ve güvenilirlik çalışması [Altruism scale: A study of reliability and validity]. Object, 3(6), 55–76.
United Nations Sustainable Development. (1992, June 3 to 14). United Nations conference on environment & development Rio de Janerio, Agenda 21. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
United Nations. (2015, September). United Nations department of economic and social affairs, The 17 goals. https://sdgs.un.org/goals
Üzümçeker, E., Gezgin, G. N., & Akfırat, S. (2019). Sosyal ve evrimsel psikolojide insan özgeciliği bilmecesi [The riddle of human altruism in social and evolutionary psychology]. Journal of Psychology about Life Skills, 3(5), 93–110. https://doi.org/10.31461/ybpd.559805
Vlek, C., & Steg, L. (2007). Human behaviour and environmental sustainability: problems, driving forces and research topics. Journal of Social Issues, 63(1), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2007.00493.x
In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.