Study title
Assessment of general ecological behaviour: An intercultural comparison between German-speaking Switzerland and Sweden
Ref study 6764
Study language German
Contributing institutions
  • Umweltverhalten
  • Interkulturelle Unterschiede
  • Soziokulturelle Faktoren
Januar 1997
Geographical space
Schweiz und Schweden
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
The General Ecological Behavior (GEB) scale was developed for cross-cultural applications (Kaiser & Wilson, in press). The present study compares ecological behavior in Sweden and Switzerland. Questionaire data from 247 Swedish and 445 Swiss participants are presented. Reliability and internal consistency analysis revealed that the GEB scale was applicable to both the Swedish and Swiss samples. In general, Swiss behave more ecologically than Swedes. Nevertheless, several ecological behaviors turned out to be easier to conduct in Sweden than in Switzerland and vice versa. The GEB scale takes differential behavior difficulties into account that are most likely caused by situational influences. At the same time, the proposed behavior measurement approach guides the search for potentially useful political actions that make it easier for people to behave ecologically in some societies and, thus, can be adopted by others.
Methods (description)
The ecological behavior measure consists of 30 behaviors. These Items are grouped by different domains of ecological behavior (ecological garbage removal, water and power conservation, ecologically conscious consumer behavior, garbage reduction volunteering in nature protection activities, and ecological automobie use). The original German version of the GEB scale - all items are adopted from a former Guttman scale - was translated to an english version. The Swedish GEB version is a translation of this english version. Backtranslations of the Swedish GEB scale into English and German revealed a high item similarity although, strictly speaking, no perfect match was achieved. Such a straight forward translation-backtranslation procedure was applicable, since, at least, the "structural equivilance" (i.e. unidimensionality) of the two GEB versions will be controlled statistically and all estimates will be in comparable measurements units. A copy of the Swedish version is available on request. The response alternatives were a yes/no format. "No" responses to negatively formulated items were recoded as yes responses and vice versa. In Sweden, 2.3% of all responses were missing; only0.5% of the answers were missing in the Swiss sample. Missing values were handled as no responses (assuming participants' doubts, represented by missing values, as indicators of not behaving alike in general).
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Kaiser, Florian G.; Wilson, Mark. 2000. Assessing People's General Ecological Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Study. In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2000, 30, 952-978.
  • Kaiser, Anders. 2000. Assessing General Ecological Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Comparison between Switzerland and Sweden. in: European Journal of Psychological Assessement, Vol. 16, Hogrefe & Huber Publishers, 2000.
  • Kaiser, Todd. 1999. Responsibility as a Predictor of Ecological Behavior. In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, 1999.
  • Kaiser, Florian G.; Ranney, Michael; Hartig, Peter A.. 1999. Ecological Behavior, Environmental Attitude, and Feelings of Resposibility for the Environment. In: European Psychologist, Vol.4, No.2, 1999.
  • Kaiser, Florian G.; Wölfing, Urs. 1999. Environmental Attitude and Ecological Behavior. In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 19, 1999.
  • Kaiser, Florian G.. 1998. A General Measure of Ecological Behavior. In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1998.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Archive
Date created 04.05.2018
Date modified 04.05.2018
Start - End date 01.06.1996 - 28.11.1997