National culture shapes people’s pro-environmental tendencies, yet its underlying psychological mechanisms are less clear. This study examined the mediating role of self-enhancement value on the relationship between culture and pro-environmental attitude. Using data from the World Values Survey (Wave 6; 78,542 participants from 52 countries/regions), we conducted multilevel mediation analyses. At the country level, we found that self-enhancement value fully mediated the relationships of power distance and individualism-collectivism with pro-environmental attitude, measured by evaluating the importance of looking after the environment. However, when this attitude was measured by weighting the priority of environmental protection versus economic development, the mediation effect became non-significant, while both power distance and individualism predicted the prioritization of economic development. These findings were robust despite whether two cultural dimensions were separately or simultaneously analyzed and whether societal macroeconomic conditions were controlled. In the mediation models, power distance positively predicted self-enhancement value; unexpectedly, individualism negatively predicted self-enhancement value and self-enhancement value positively predicted the importance of looking after the environment. Overall, this study highlights that both self-enhancement value and pro-environmental attitude are culturally embedded and call for further studies on clarifying mechanisms underlying the link for cultural effects on individuals’ pro-environmental attitude. Copyright © 2022 SAGE Publications.
CitationLou, X., & Li, L. M. W. (2022). The mediating role of self-enhancement value on the relationship of power distance and individualism with pro-environmental attitudes: Evidence from multilevel mediation analysis with 52 societies. Cross-Cultural Research, 56(5), 445-466. doi: 10.1177/10693971221093122
- Power distance
- Self-enhancement value
- Pro-environmental attitude
- Multilevel mediation analysis