Climate change has become a pressing issue for humanity. If action is not taken to curb the effects of this phenomenon, climate change will have a significantly negative impact on human lives and livelihood. The repercussions of unchecked climate change will be most harshly felt in developing countries like South Africa. The main aim of this study was to determine whether, and then the extent to which, individuals’ attitudes towards future society can affect their present-day pro-environmental behaviour. This study was conducted within the collective futures framework, using a survey design and a research instrument developed by an international team of researchers. The research question posed by this study was: What is the relationship between students at a South African higher education institution’s views of future society and their pro-environmental behaviour? Data was collected from 254 students at a higher education institution in South Africa and the results were analysed in order to determine respondents’ views of the future and their pro-environmental behaviours. Further analysis was then conducted to determine the relationship between these variables. A weak positive relationship between the variables view of the future and pro-environmental behaviour was found. This indicates that as students’ views of the future becomes more positive, their pro-environmental behavioural tendencies may increase. These findings assist in creating an understanding of the factors that induce climate change-causing behaviours. This research can ultimately inform the psychological sciences on how to best address the human behaviours that lead to climate change. Further study is recommended to investigate additional factors that influence pro-environmental behaviour.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.