Volume 4 Issue 1-2 (2015)

The Relationship between the Environmental Awareness, Environmental Attitude, Curiosity and Exploration in Highly Gifted Students: Structural Equation Modelling

pp. 7-17  |  Published Online: November 2015  |  DOI: 10.12973/edupij.2015.412.1

Hakan Saricam, Suleyman Hilmi Sahin


The basic purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between environmental awareness, environmental attitude, curiosity and exploration in highly gifted students with structural equation modelling. The secondary aim was to compare highly gifted and non-gifted students’ environmental awareness, environmental attitude, curiosity and exploration levels. Participants were 311 (154 highly gifted, 157 non-gifted) secondary school students in Turkey who volunteered to take part in this study. All of the participants were either 13 or 14 years old, with a mean age of 13.77 years. For gathering data, Environmental Awareness Scale, Environmental Attitude Scale, Curiosity and Exploration-II were used. While analyzing the data, Pearson correlation analysis, independent samples t test, and structural equation model were used. According to the findings, highly gifted students’ environmental awareness, environmental attitude, curiosity and exploration scores were higher than non-gifted students’. Indices of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) indicated that the increase in the curiosity and exploration scores of the highly gifted children increased the environmental awareness; in this case, the environmental attitudes were affected positively.

Keywords: curiosity and exploration, environmental awareness, environmental attitude


Acun, N., Kapikiran, S., & Kabasakal, Z. (2013). Trait Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and its reliability. Turkish Psychological Articles, 16(31), 86-90.

Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural Equation Modeling in Practice: A Review and Recommended Two-Step Approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103, 411-423.

Aspelmeier, J. E., & Kerns, K. A. (2003). Love and school: Attachment/ exploration dynamics in college. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 5-30.

Axtell, J. (1966). Discontinuities in the perception of curiosity in gifted preadolescents. Gifted Child Quarterly, 10, 78–82.

Aydin, F., Coskun, M., Kaya, H., & Erdonmez, I. (2011). Gifted students’ attitudes towards environment: A case study from turkey. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 6(7), 1876-1883.

Bagozzi, R. P., & Fornell, C. (1982). Theoretical Concepts, Measurement, and Meaning. In C. Fornell (Ed.) A Second Generation of Multivariate Analysis, Praeger, pp. 5-23.

Beghetto, R. A. (2011, August). Creative mortification: An empirical exploration of profound creative suppression. Paper session presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Beghetto, R. A., & Kaufman, J. C. (2007). Toward a broader conception of creativity: A case for mini-c creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 73–79.

Berlyne, D. E. (1954). A theory of human curiosity. British Journal of Psychology, 45(3), 180-191.

Betts, G. T., & Neihart, M. (1988). Profiles of the Gifted and Talented. Gifted Child Quarterly, 32, 248-253.

Borowske, K. (2005). Curiosity and Motivation to Learn April 7-10, 2005, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Byrne, B. M. (2006). Structural equation modeling with EQS: Basic concepts, applications and programming. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cetinkaya, C. (2013). Sakarya science and art center nature education program. Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology, 14(3A), 1317-1324.

Clark, B. (1997). Growing up gifted: Developing the potential of children at home and at school (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio: Merrill.

Coertjens, L., Pauw, J. B., Maeyer, S. D., & Petegem, P. V. (2010). Do Schools Make a Difference in Their Students’ Environmental Attitudes and Awareness? Evidence From Pisa 2006. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8(3), 497-522.

Collins, R. P., Litman, J. A., & Spielberger, C. D. (2004). The measurement of perceptual curiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 1127-1141.

Cullingford, C. (1996). Children’s attitudes to the environment. In C. Blackwell & G. I. Harris (Eds.), Environmental issues in education (pp. 14–17). Aldershot, VT: Ashgate.

Cutts, N. E., & Moseley, N. (2001). Education of gifted and talented children. Ankara: Ozgur Publications.

Delcourt, M. A. B., Cornell, D. G., & Goldberg, M. D. (2007). Cognitive and affective learning outcomes of gifted elementary school students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 359-381.

Dunlap, R. E., & Jones, R. (2002). Environmental Concern: Conceptual & Measurement Issues. In Dunlap & Michelson (Eds.) Handbook of Environmental Sociology. London: Greenwood Press.

Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Erten, S. (2005). Investigation of preservice preschool teachers’ behaviors related to environmental awareness. Hacettepe University The Journal of Education, 28, 91-100.

Flamm, B. J. (2006). Environmental knowledge, environmental attitudes and vehicle ownership use. Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley.

Flamm, B. J. (2009). The impacts of environmental knowledge and attitudes on vehicle ownership and use. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 14(4), 272-279.

Gadenne, D. L., Kennedy, J., & McKeiver, C. (2009). An Empirical Study of Environmental Awareness and Practices in SMEs. Journal of Business Ethics, 84(1), 45-63.

Gerber, O. (2009). Curiosity, exploration, and strategies for dealing with uncertainty amongst psychologists-in-training. Yayınlanmamış yüksek lisans tezi, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, ZA.

Gilbert, P. (2005). Compassion: Conceptualizations, Research and use in psychotherapy. New York: Brunner Routge. p.245.

Ginsberg, G., & Harrison, C. (1977). How to help your gifted child. New York: Monarch.

Green, J. D., & Campbell, W. K. (2000). Attachment and exploration in adults: Chronic and contextual accessibility. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 452-461.

Hallahan, D. P., & Kaufmann, J. M. (1991). Exceptional Children: Introduction to Special Education, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Henderson, B. B., Gold, S. R., & McCord, M. T. (1982). Daydreaming and curiosity in gifted and average children and adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 18(4), 576-582.

Inan, I. (2012). The philosophy of curiosity. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York, London.

Jang, S. (2009). Exploration of secondary students’ creativity by integrating Web-based technology into an innovative science curriculum. Computer and Education, 52, 247-255.

Kabat-Zinn J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: past, present, and future. Clin Psychol Sci Pract, 10(2), 144- 156.

Kashdan, T. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2004). Facilitating curiosity: A social and self-regulation perspective for scientifically based interventions. P. A. Linley & S. Joseph, (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (482-503). NJ: John-Wiley and Sons, Inc.)

Kashdan, T. B., Gallagher, M. W., Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Breen, W. E., Terhar, D.T., & Steger, M. F. (2009). The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II: Development, factor structure, and psychometrics. Journal of Research in Personality, 43, 987-998.

Kashdan, T. B., & Silvia, P. J. (2009). Curiosity and interest: The benefits of thriving on novelty and challenge. C. R. Synder & S. J. Lopez, (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology (367-375). USA: Oxford University Press.

Knamiller, G. W. (1987), Environment education in school, In Baez,A.V. ; G.W.Knamiller ; J.C.smyth (Eds.), the Environment and Science and Technology Education (55-77), New York: Pergamon.

Litman, J. A. (2005). Curiosity and the pleasures of learning: Wanting and liking new information. Cognition and Emotion, 19(6), 793-814.

Litman, J. A., Collins, R. P., & Spielberger, C. D. (2005). The nature and measurement of sensory curiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 1123-1133.

Litman, J. A., Huckins, T. L., & Russon, R. K. (2005). Epistemic curiosity, feeling-of-knowing, and exploratory behaviour. Cognition and Emotion, 19(4), 559-582.

Litman, J. A., & Silvia, P. J. (2006). The latent structure of trait curiosity: Evidence for interest and deprivation curiosity dimensions. Journal of Personality Assessment, 86, 318-328.

Loewenstein, G. (1994). The psychology of curiosity: A review and reinterpretation. Psychological Bulletin, 116(1), 75-98.

Lovecky, D. V. (1993). The quest for meaning: Counseling issues with gifted children and adolescents. In L. K. Silverman (Ed.), Counseling The Gifted and Talented (pp. 29-47). Denver: Love Publishing Company.

McReynolds, P., Acker, M., & Pietila, C. (1961). Relation of object curiosity to psychological adjustment in children. Child Development, 32(2), 393-400.

Morelock M. (1992). Giftedness: The view from within. Understanding Our Gifted 4(3), 1-15.

Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson, N. M., & Moon, S. M. (2002). Social and emotional issues facing gifted and talented students: What have we learned and what should we do now?, as cited in Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson, N. M., & Moon, S. M., The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children. What Do We Know? Washington: Prufrock Press.

Okur-Berberoglu, E., & Uygun, S. (2012). Checking over relationship between environmental awareness and environmental attitudes by structural equation modelling. Uludag Universitesi Egitim Fakultesi Dergisi, 25(2), 459-473.

Piechowski, M. M. (1997). Emotional giftedness: The measure of intrapersonal intelligence. In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.) Handbook of Gifted Education (2nd ed.) (pp. 366-381). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Poortinga, W., Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2004). Values, environmental concern and environmental behavior: a study into household energy use. Environment and Behavior, 36, 70-93.

Renner, B. (2006). Curiosity about people: The development of social curiosity measure in adults. Journal of Personality Assessment, 87(3), 305-316.

Schmitt, F. F., & Lahroodi, R. (2008). The epistemic value of curiosity. Educational Theory, 58(2), 125-148.

Siegle, D., & McCoach, D. B. (2002). Promoting a positive achievement attitude with gifted and talented students. In M. Neihart, S. M. Reis, N. M. Robinson, & S. Moon (Eds.), The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? (pp. 237-249). Waco, TX: Prufrock.

Siegel, R. D., Germer, C. K., & Olendzki, A. (2009). Mindfulness: What is it? Where did it come from?, In F. Didonna (Ed), Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness. New York: USA, Springer Publishing, pp. 17-35.

Silvia, P. J. (2008). Appraisal components and emotion traits: Examining the appraisal basis of trait curiosity. Cognition and Emotion, 22, 94-113.

Silvia, P. J., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009). Interesting things and curious people: Exploration and engagement as transient states and enduring strengths. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3(5), 785-797.

Sontay, G., Gokdere, M., & Usta, E. (2014). A comparative investigation of environmental behaviors of gifted students and their peers. Turkish Journal of Giftedness and Education, 4(2), 90-106.

Spielberger, C. D., & Reheiser, E. C. (2009). Assessment of emotions: Anxiety, anger, depression, and curios. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being, 1(3), 271-302.

Uzun, N., & Saglam, N. (2006). Development and validation of an Environmental Attitudes Scale for high school students. Hacettepe University The Journal of Education, 30, 240-250.

Whitmore, J. R. (1980). Giftedness, conflict, and underachievement. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Wilson, T. D., Dunn, D. S., Kraft, D., & Lisle, D. J. (1989). Introspection, attitude change, and attitude-behavior consistency. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 287-338.

Yesilyurt, S., Gul, S., & Demir, Y. (2013). Biology teacher candidates’ environmental awareness and environmental sensitivity: A scale development study. Mehmet Akif Ersoy Universitesi Egitim Fakultesi Dergisi, 13(25), 38-54. 


COPE Membership

Cope logo. 

Educational Process: International Journal is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 

Call for Papers

EDUPIJ is calling for submissions to the Volume 7, Issue 1, 2018. Submission Deadline: January 31, 2018.