An Investigation on Cynicism and Environmental Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Pro-Environmental Behavior


Environmental problem is one of the biggest problems that threatens human life. Human behavior has long been known to play an important role in maintaining and improving environmental sustainability. Psychological studies investigating predictors of pro-environmental behavior have been carried out, but no studies link it with cynicism and self-efficacy simultaneously. This study design was predictive correlational and data analysis technique employed was multiple linear regression analysis. Participants of this study were 205 undergraduate students in Jakarta (132 males, 73 females; Mage = 19.68 years old; SDage = 0.849 years) taken using convenience sampling technique. This study found that cynicism and environmental self-efficacy are able to predict proenvironmental behavior in positive directions. This study suggests revising the measurement instrument of cynicism.

Share and Cite:

Abraham, J. , Pane, M. & Chairiyani, R. (2015). An Investigation on Cynicism and Environmental Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Pro-Environmental Behavior. Psychology, 6, 234-242. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.63023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Allison, J. E. (2010). Environmental Skepticism: Ecology, Power, and Public Life (Review). Global Environmental Politics, 10, 131-133.
[2] Bayan, R. (2013). All about Cynicism.
[3] Chiu, C. C. H. (2005). Cynicism about Community Engagement in Hong Kong. Sociological Spectrum, 25, 447-467.
[4] Chowdhury, R. M. M. I., & Fernando, M. (2014). The Relationships of Empathy, Moral Identity and Cynicism with Consumers’ Ethical Beliefs: The Mediating Role of Moral Disengagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 124, 677-694.
[5] Dono, J., Webb, J., & Richardson, B. (2010). The Relationship between Environmental Activism, Pro-Environmental Behaviour and Social Identity. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 178-186.
[6] Eisinger, R. M. (1999). Cynical America? Misunderstanding the Public’s Message. The Public Perspective, April/May, 45-48.
[7] Govier, T. (1997). Social Trust and Human Communities. Montreal, QC: McGill Queens University Press.
[8] Gronewold, K. L., Burnett, A., & Meister, M. (2012). Farmers’ Cynicism toward Nature and Distrust of the Government: Where Does that Leave Conservation Buffer Programs? Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 11, 18-24.
[9] Helm, A. (2004). Cynics and Skeptics: Consumer Dispositional Trust. Advances in Consumer Research, 31, 345-351.
[10] Juneman, & Pane, M. M. (2013). Apathy towards Environmental Issues, Narcissism, and Competitive View of the World. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 101, 44-52.
[11] Kirk, D. S., & Matsuda, M. (2011). Legal Cynicism, Collective Efficacy, and the Ecology of Arrest. Criminology, 49, 443-472.
[12] Krages II, B. P. (2000). Total Environmental Compliance: A Practical Guide for Environmental Professionals. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.
[13] Kruger, J., & Gilovich, T. (1999). “Naive Cynicism” in Everyday Theories of Responsibility Assessment: On Biased Assumptions of Bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 743-753.
[14] Levy, M. A. (2005). Cynicism, Social Epistemic, and the Institutional Context of College Composition. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 25, 347-370.
[15] Mantere, S., & Martinsuo, M. (2001). Adopting and Questioning Strategy: Exploring the Roles of Cynicism and Dissent. Proceedings of the 17th EGOS-European Group for Organization Studies Colloquium, Lyon, 5-7 July 2001, 1-25.
[16] Markle, G. L. (2013). Pro-Environmental Behavior: Does It Matter How It’s Measured? Development and Validation of the Pro-Environmental Behavior Scale (PEBS). Human Ecology, 41, 905-914.
[17] Matthes, J., & Wonneberger, A. (2014). The Skeptical Green Consumer Revisited: Testing the Relationship between Green Consumerism and Skepticism toward Advertising. Journal of Advertising, 43, 115-127.
[18] McClough, A. C., Rogelberg, S. G., Fisher, G. G., & Bachiochi, P. D. (1998). Cynicism and the Quality of an Individual’s Contribution to an Organizational Diagnostic Survey. Organizational Development Journal, 16, 31-41.
[19] Menke, J. M. (2004). Skepticism and Cynicism. Dynamic Chiropractic, 22, 16.
[20] Oneal, G., Odom-Maryon, T., Postma, J., Hill, W., & Butterfield, P. (2012). The Household Risk Perception Instrument and the Self-Efficacy in Environmental Risk Reduction Instrument: Psychometric Testing Using Principal Component Analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69, 2107-2115.
[21] Roberts, J. M. (2011). 3 Species of Environmental Cynicism.
[22] Rudiak-Gould, P. (2013). Cross-Cultural Insights into Climate Change Skepticism. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94, 1707-1713.
[23] Saribas, D., Teksoz, G., & Ertepinar, H. (2014). The Relationship between Environmental Literacy and Self-Efficacy Beliefs toward Environmental Education. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 3664-3668.
[24] Sverdiolas, A. (2008). Cynicism: A Lithuanian Version. Athena: Philosophical Studies.
[25] Tabernero, C., & Hernandez, B. (2011). Self-Efficacy and Intrinsic Motivation Guiding Environmental Behavior. Environment and Behavior, 43, 658-675.
[26] Tsay, C. J., Shu, L. L., & Bazerman, M. H. (2011). Naiveté and Cynicism in Negotiations and Other Competitive Contexts. The Academy of Management Annals, 5, 495-518.
[27] Turner, J. H., & Valentine, S. R. (2001). Cynicism as a Fundamental Dimension of Moral Decision-Making: A Scale Development. Journal of Business Ethics, 34, 123-136.
[28] Vice, S. (2011). Cynicism and Morality. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 14, 169-184.
[29] Videras, J., Owen, A. L., Conover, E., & Wu, S. (2012). The Influence of Social Relationships on Pro-Environment Behaviors. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 63, 35-50.
[30] Wu, H., & Mweemba, L. (2010). Environmental Self-Efficacy, Attitude and Behavior among Small Scale Farmers in Zambia. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 12, 727-744.
[31] Zhou, M. (2015). Public Environmental Skepticism: A Cross-National and Multilevel Analysis. International Sociology, 30, 61-85.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.