That human activity has harmed the natural world hasbeen well documented (cf., Pimm, 2001; Gelbspan, 2004).Deforestation, desertification of large areas of land andoceans, burgeoning landfills, reductions in biodiversity,and the ill effects associated with increased carbon dioxidein the atmosphere have all been linked to human action.Many reasons have been presented for why humans haveengaged in this destructive behavior. One perennial theme(cf. Leopold, 1949; Naess, 1989; Roszak, 1995; White,1967) that has gained recent attention (cf.
Kals, Schumacher,& Montada, 1999; Kidner, 2001; Fisher, 2002;Schultz, 2002; Clayton & Opotow, 2003; Mayer & Frantz,2004) links these environmental problems to the way thatmodern individuals conceive of their relationship to nature.Developing these ideas further, the present paper focuseson the modern conception of the object self, and theconditions under which this modern conception of self,with its corresponding ”I,” is linked with a decreased senseof connectedness to nature.Various authors associate the beginnings of our modernsense of self with the rise of industrialism (cf. Baumeister,1987; Kidner, 2001). Baumeister (1987) reviews thehistorical research on the development of our modernsense of self in Western culture.
He concludes that duringindustrialism, the person became the basic unit or object ofattention, replacing the community. Kidner (2001) argues,however, that it is not individuality per se that is at the rootof environmental problems. Rather, problems arise whenpeople view themselves as being separate and distinct fromthe world around them, or, stated differently, when theindividual no longer feels a sense of ”resonance” orconnectedness to the natural world.
the newly developed Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS,Mayer & Frantz, 2004). The CNS is a 14-item scaleintended to operationalize Leopold’s vision of relatednessto the natural world. The scale has been shown to haveonly one factor, to possess high internal consistency(a ¼ :84), test–retest reliability (r ¼ :79), and has also beendemonstrated to correlate with biospheric values (r ¼ :49)(Schultz, 2000), and the New Environmental Paradigm(NEP, Stern & Dietz, 1994) (r ¼ :35), a scale that measuresattitudes about environmental protection. Given the linkbetween feeling connected to nature and pro-environmentalactions, investigating factors that either promote orinhibit this sense of feeling connected to nature is critical,as it may shed light on why people do and do not engage ineco-friendly acts.The aim of the present study is to extend this work onthe CNS to objective self-awareness (OSA) theory. Asoriginally presented by Duval and Wicklund (1972) andextended and refined (Wicklund, 1975; Duval & Hensley,1976; Mayer, Duval, Holtz, & Bowman, 1985; Duval,Duval, & Mulilis, 1992; Duval & Lalwani, 1999; Duval,Silvia, & Lalwani, 2001; Silvia & Duval, 2001; Silvia , 2004), OSA theory distinguishes between two statesof consciousness: OSA and subjective self-awareness(SSA).
Although alternative revisions of OSA theory havebeen presented since Duval and Wicklund’s (1972) originalpresentation (e.g. Hull & Levy, 1979; Carver & Scheier,1981, 1998; Gibbons, 1990), the original OSA