Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Jesse Van Gerven


This study extensively examines the formation of pro-environmental behaviors as mediated by the Value-Belief-Norm (VBN) Theory. Using this theoretical framework, qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with a small number of Butler University students (n=10). The findings of the data collection demonstrate the limitations of the VBN Theory when applied to pro-environmental behavior. Data analysis demonstrates the role that formative experiences, environmental education, and connectedness to nature can play as intervening influences in the linear translation posited by the VBN Theory. Moreover, the confluence of various values that emerged among research participants suggests the need for a more holistic value orientation based on ecological integrity and the recognition of the connections, rather than distinctions, between systems. This study therefore offers the grounds for the refinement and expansion of the VBN Theory based on the limitations described above. In addition, Indigenous knowledge presents an existing resource for a robust recognition of ecological interdependence and the ways in which human activity can uphold and prolong environmental integrity. As such, Indigenous knowledge systems offer a fruitful opportunity for future research and environmental action.