“Nature is mine/ours”: Measuring individual and collective psychological ownership of nature

Xiongzhi Wang, Kelly Fielding, Angela Dean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Psychological ownership of nature (i.e., the feeling that nature is “mine” or “ours”) has been examined to encourage pro-environmental behaviors. However, a psychometrically validated measure that assesses the core of the construct is currently lacking, which undercuts its value and growing research efforts. Following recommended procedures, this paper developed and validated 6-item scales of individual and collective psychological ownership of nature, using a representative sample of Australian adults (total N = 836). The two scales exhibited high reliability and evidence of convergent, discriminant, predictive, and incremental validity, with measurement invariance across gender, age, and political subgroups. The validated individual and collective psychological ownership of nature scales were statistically distinct from proximate constructs (e.g., connection to nature and place attachment). The two scales had unique power in explaining civic pro-environmental behaviors, over and above connection to nature. Collective (but not individual) psychological ownership of nature contributed additional variance over place attachment in civic pro-environmental behaviors. This paper advances research on psychological ownership of nature by offering validated scales measuring the core of this increasingly important construct.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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