There is an I in nature: The crucial role of the self in nature conservation

A. M. Lokhorst, C. Hoon, R. le Rutte, G.R. de Snoo

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this paper we analyze the social-psychological determinants of private nature conservation. As a theoretical framework we use the Theory of Planned Behavior, to which the concepts connectedness to nature, self-identity, and place attachment were added. 94 landowners participated in our survey. Results of this pilot study show that perceived behavioral control, self-identity and connectedness to nature are the key factors influencing the intention to conserve. The more farmers feel that they are capable of conserving nature on their farm, the more they see themselves as conservationists, and the more they feel connected to nature, the more likely they are to intend to conserve. An important finding is that self-identity mediates the relation between CNS and conservation intentions. This implies that with an increased connectedness to nature, people come to see themselves as conservationists and this in turn influences their intentions. Of course, these results need to be replicated and validated across different contexts. We discuss the implications of this study for future research and policy. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Nature conservation Motivation Determinants Connectedness to nature Self-identity Theory of planned behavior place attachment planned behavior social identity farmers connectedness metaanalysis landholders commitment decisions community Environmental Sciences & Ecology


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