The Study of the Relationship Among Environmental Cognition, Attitude, Sensitivity, and Behavior: The Case of an Eco-Resort Island

The Study of the Relationship Among Environmental Cognition, Attitude, Sensitivity, and Behavior: The Case of an Eco-Resort Island

Han-Shen Chen 

School of Health Diet and Industry Management, Chung Shan Medical University, Taiwan

Department of Medical Management, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taiwan

31 December 2015
| Citation



This study discussed the relationship among environmental cognition, attitude, sensitivity, and behavior based on the concept of ecotourism. Structured questionnaires were utilized to investigate participants’ traveling experiences in the Green Island, Taiwan. A total of 750 questionnaires were issued to generate 476 valid samples with 63.4% of response rate. The results showed that three out of five causal paths were significantly supported with statistical evidences. Environmental cognition had a significant effect on environmental sensitivity while environmental attitude and environmental sensitivity appeared significantly effect on environmental behavior. Meanwhile, the results discovered that the relationship between tourists’ environmental cognition and behavior was not yet found in this study. In addition, this research also verified the indirect influence of environmental sensitivity on environmental behavior. That is, the more the tourists understand the meaning of ecotourism, the higher their sensitive levels about the environment are expected.


eco-resort island, environmental attitude, environmental behavior, environmental cognition, environmental sensitivity.


[1] Brida, J.G. & Risso, W.A., Tourism as a determinant of long-run economic growth. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 2(1), pp. 14–28, 2010. doi:

[2] Dodds, R. & Butler, R., Barriers to implementing sustainable tourism policy in mass tourism destinations. Tourismos, 5(1), pp. 35–54, 2010.

[3] Wang Huabin, & Zhou Ling., The Development of Eco-tourism. Science Press, Beijing. pp. 254, 2000.

[4] Weinberg, A., Bellows, S. & Ekster, D., Sustaining ecotourism: insights and implications from two successful case studies. Society and Natural Resources, 15(4), pp. 371–380, 2002. doi:

[5] Wu, T.C., Accessing ecotourism development model for rural communities. Journal of Rural Tourism Research, 1(1), pp. 19–57, 2007.

[6] Sung, B.M., The planning of eco-tourism development in Green Island. Journal of Outdoor Recreation Study, 9(4), pp. 31–40, 1996.

[7] Lyons, E. & Breakwell, G.M., Factors predicting environmental concern and indifference in 13 to 16-years-old. Environment and Behaviour, 26(2), pp. 223–238, 1994. doi:

[8] Lin, M.R. & Hsieh, Y.C., A study on the developmental factors of model environmental communities in central Taiwan. Journal of National Taichung Teachers College, 19(1), pp. 89–113, 2005.

[9] Chen, S.L. & Yeh, G.L., A study of environmental behaviours & related influential factors – an example of the junior high school students in Pingtung area of Taiwan. Chinese Journal of Environmental Education, 1, pp. 13–30, 2002.

[10] Dunlap, R.E., Van Liere, K.D., Mertig, A.G. & Jones, R.E., Measuring endorsement of the new ecological paradigm: a revised NEP scale. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), pp. 425–442, 2000. doi:

[11] Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I., Predicting and Changing Behavior: The Reasoned Action Approach. Taylor & Francis: New York, 2010.

[12] Grob, A., A structural model of environmental attitudes and behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15(3), pp. 209–220, 1995. doi: 

[13] Reimer, A.P., Thompson, A.W. & Prokopy, L.S., The multi-dimensional nature of environmental attitudes among farmers in Indiana: implications for conservation adoption. Agriculture and Human Values, 29(1), pp. 29–40, 2012. doi: s10460-011-9308-z

[14] Chawla, L., Significant life experiences revisited: a review of research on sources of environmental sensitivity. The Journal of Environmental Education, 29(3), pp. 11–21, 

1998. doi:

[15] Sun, Y., Song, J. & Song, D., The empirical study on the factors influencing urban residents’ environmental behaviors. Chinese Journal of Management, 9, pp. 144–150, 2012.

[16] Anderson, J.C. & Gerbing, D.W., Structural equation modeling in practice: a review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103(3), pp. 411–423, 1988. doi:

[17] Jöreskog, K. G., Testing structural equation models. In K. A. Bollen & J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models, Newbury Park, CA: Sage. pp. 294-316,1993.

[18] Fornell, C. & Larcker, D.F., Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), pp. 39–50, 1981. doi:

[19] Liu, J. & Var, T., Resident attitudes toward tourism impacts in Hawaii. Annals of Tourism Research, 13(2), pp. 193–214, 1986. doi:

[20] Long, T.P., Perdue, R.R. & Allen, L., Rural resident tourism perceptions and attitudes by community level of tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 28(3), pp. 3–9, 1990. doi:

[21] Allen, L.R., Hafer, H.R., Long, P.T. & Perdue, R.R., Rural residents’ attitudes toward recreation and tourism development. Journal of Travel Research, 31(4), pp. 27–33, 

1993. doi:

[22] Lankford, S.V., Attitudes and perceptions toward tourism and rural regional development. Journal of Travel Research, 32(3), pp. 35–44, 1994. doi: http://dx.doi. org/10.1177/004728759403200306

[23] Dunlap, E.R. & Van Liere, K.D., The new environmental paradigm: a proposed measuring instrument and preliminary results. The Journal of Environmental Education, 9(4), pp. 10–19, 1978. doi:

[24] Ostman, R.E. & Parker, J.I., Impact of education, age, newspapers, and television on environmental knowledge, concerns, and behaviours. Journal of Environmental Education, 19(1), pp. 3–9, 1987. doi: