11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology - BCEP 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an academic or articstic eventConferencesResearch

Anna Sundermann - presenter

    Predictors for Motivation to Engage in Sustainable Development: The Role of Understanding, Beliefs and Tolerance for Ambiguity

    The Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development highlights the crucial role of education in changing the way we think and act. In the discourse on Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD), affective features such as values, attitudes and in particular motivation have received growing attention recently. A mixed-method study analyses these affective learning outcomes and their interplay with changes in students’ conceptual understandings of sustainable development. The study is undertaken in an innovative study model which is to one third dedicated to sustainability issues. First results show that motivation to engage in sustainable development decreases after the first semester. We hypothesized that perceived complexity and ambiguity of sustainability issues could lead to amotivation within students. This paper reports the influence of understanding of sustainable development, tolerance for ambiguity and epistemological beliefs regarding sustainability on self-reported motivation. A sample of 639 students in their second semester completed questionnaires assessing the variables of interest. Multiple Regression Analysis indicates that avoidance for ambiguity and perceived complexity are significantly negatively related with motivation, whereas sophisticated epistemological beliefs about sustainability are positively related. Most surprisingly socio-cultural aspects of understanding explained the highest proportion of variance in motivation scores. Implications for curriculum design and HESD will be discussed.

    Presenter & Session Chair
    11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology - BCEP 2015


    11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology - BCEP 2015

    09.08.15 → …

    Groningen, Netherlands

    Event: Conference