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Underlying Dimensions of Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Environmental Beliefs

  • María Amérigo (a1), Juan Ignacio Aragonés (a2), Belinda de Frutos (a3), Verónica Sevillano (a2) and Beatriz Cortés (a1)...


This study focuses on the cognitive components of general environmental attitudes. Taking as a starting point the scale of Thompson and Barton (1994) to identify ecocentric and anthropocentric motives in environmental conservation, the beliefs that guide attitudes in the person-environment relationship are analyzed. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to contrast the tripartite structure of these beliefs—based on egoistic, socioaltruistic, and biospheric aspects—with a two-dimensional structure that confronts ecocentric and anthropocentric orientations. The results obtained from two samples, a student sample (n = 212) and a sample from the general population of Madrid (n = 205), indicate the existence of a three-dimensional structure of environmental beliefs: an anthropocentric dimension based on the instrumental value of the environment for human beings, a biospheric dimension that values the environment for its own sake, and, lastly, an egobiocentric dimension that values the human being within nature as a whole.

La presente investigación está centrada en los componentes cognitivos de las actitudes generales hacia el medio ambiente. Partiendo de la escala utilizada por Thompson y Barton (1994) para identificar motivos ecocéntricos y antropocéntricos en la conservación medioambiental, se analizan las creencias que orientan la relación individuo-medio ambiente. Mediante análisis factorial confirmatorio se contrasta una estructura tripartita de estas creencias basada en dimensiones egoístas, socioaltruistas y biosféricas con una estructura bidimensional en la que se enfrentan una orientación ecocéntrica y una orientación antropocéntrica. Los resultados obtenidos con dos muestras, una de estudiantes (n = 212) y otra extraída de la población general de la ciudad de Madrid (n = 205), apuntan hacia la existencia de una estructura de tres dimensiones de las creencias ambientales: una dimensión antropocéntrica vinculada al valor instrumental del medio ambiente para el ser humano; una dimensión biosférica que contempla el medio ambiente por el valor intrínseco de éste y, finalmente, una dimensión egobiocéntrica que valora al ser humano en la naturaleza.


Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to María Amérigo, Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza de Padilla, 4, 45071 Toledo (Spain). E-mail:


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Underlying Dimensions of Ecocentric and Anthropocentric Environmental Beliefs

  • María Amérigo (a1), Juan Ignacio Aragonés (a2), Belinda de Frutos (a3), Verónica Sevillano (a2) and Beatriz Cortés (a1)...


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