This research was aimed at identifying patterns of environmental concern in Australia and South Korea. The research was guided by a multi-faceted approach that sees environmental concern as comprising affective, cognitive, conative and behavioural aspects. The four aspects were represented by environmental beliefs, environmental knowledge, and preparedness to change behaviour, as well as household energy and transport use.
The multi-faceted approach identified the fact that environmental concern is divided and fragmented. The Australian group displayed greater positive environmental beliefs as well as higher level of environmental knowledge than the Korean. Nevertheless, they were less prepared to change behaviours that have an environmental impact and were engaged in transport and household energy use in a more environmentally harmful way than the Korean group.
The overall analysis showed that the middle-upper strata, younger people, and those who actively participate in civic affairs held stronger environmental beliefs and had greater environmental knowledge whereas the low-strata along with older people were more prepared to change behaviour and were engaged in the uses of transport and household energy in a more environmentally sensitive way. On the other hand, the New Politics voters of the Australian sample showed consistency in their environmentally friendly orientations. While the less religious of the Australian sample held greater positive environmental beliefs, a similar group in the Korean sample were more environmentally friendly in their household energy use.
The causal process leading to transport and household energy use suggested that the behaviours were largely determined by socio-economic factors. The impacts of attitudinal components were not great.
The fragmented nature of environmental concern suggested that future work should investigate the concept of environmental concern in a broader framework while adopting a rigorous and more specific use of terms and measurements. This will further help elaborate the existing theoretical perspectives of environmental concern.