The Development and Validation of an Implicit Measure Based on Biospheric Values

Gregory O. Thomas, Ian Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)


Explicit measures of environmental views can be affected by social desirability and cognitive biases. Implicit measures, which should avoid such issues, have previously faced difficulty in establishing balanced and representative stimuli. Recently, measuring environmental views has shifted toward using environmental values, rather than attitudes. Accordingly, this article outlines a novel approach to implicit measures of environmental views using the Implicit Association Task (IAT). Stimuli representing Egoistic and Biospheric value orientations were selected, having positive valence and categorical representation. Across three independent samples (total N = 293), this Environment IAT (a) showed expected positive correlations with explicit measures of environmental values and attitudes, (b) reflected significant differences between environmentalists and non-environmentalists, and (c) was a unique predictor of environmentalist status even after controlling for explicit values and attitudes. Implications of the Environment IAT suggest a new research approach to environmental preferences for predicting behavior, and the automatic formation of attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-685
Number of pages27
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number5
Early online date10 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • attitudes
  • behavior
  • implicit preferences
  • measurement
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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