Researchers have found what they believe to be the traits that make the very best environmental citizens.
Patient, confident, and persistent people make some of the best environmental citizens, according to Kyle Whyte and Matt Ferkany, researchers at Michigan State University. Friendliness, wit, self-confidence, humility, fairness, patience and dependability are other traits they discovered associated with environmental interest.
Ferkany is an assistant professor of teacher education; Whyte is a visiting professor of philosophy.
“(When one) has a lot of confidence and not inclusive they think they are always right,” Ferkany noted. “When someone is humble they can consider others’ opinions.”
The researchers used case studies and existing research on how people solve complex, tough issues, such as that of environmental problems. Their findings could be used by environmental studies teachers to expose, or teach, their students these traits, the researchers said. That could help them become better problem solvers and environmental citizens.
The researchers are pursuing a grant to do field research to test the accuracy of their research.
In the meantime — let’s do a little informal research here. What traits do YOU think make the very best environmental citizens? Do you agree with Ferkany and Whyte?