Provincial Differences in Environmental Cognitive Alternatives and Activist Behaviour

Main Article Content

Kyle Travis Mclellan


Previous research has found that access to environmental cognitive alternatives (the ability to imagine a sustainable relationship with nature) predicts activist behaviour in a representative Canadian sample. Canada is a place with considerable variations in social norms, however, which affect the ability to engage in cognitive alternatives. Using a sample of residents of BC (N = 149), and residents of Alberta (N = 110), I compare scores on a measure of environmental cognitive alternatives between the two provinces. Additionally, I look at the relationship between these cognitive alternative scores, and scores on measures of environmental activist identification, willingness to engage in environmental activist behaviour, and willingness to engage in pro-environmental consumption. Results show that there is no significant difference in ability to engage in environmental cognitive alternatives between provinces, but that there is a strong relationship between engaging in cognitive alternatives and activist behaviours. When comparing both provinces, access to cognitive alternatives more strongly predicts activist identification and activist behaviour in Alberta than in BC. A further exploratory analysis using residents of Ontario (N = 467) and Quebec (N = 138) again found that there was a strong relationship between cognitive alternatives and activist identity and behaviour in these two provinces, but that the relationship remained strongest for residents of Alberta.

Article Details

Sustainability, Systems and Ecology
Author Biography

Kyle Travis Mclellan

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Psychology