The New Ecological Paradigm, Functional Stupidity and University Sustainability: A Polish Case Study

Johannes Platje*, Anna Motylska-Kuzma, Marjolein Caniels, Markus Will

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) reflects fragility in nature, limits to growth and the perceived ability of mankind to deal with all kinds of challenges to sustainable development. Functional Stupidity (FS) concerns the willingness to use and apply knowledge, while being able to go beyond short-term, myopic goals. Both concepts bear on the capacity to create a policy for and redefine goals for sustainable development. This study aims to provide a picture of the adherence to the New Ecological Paradigm and the level of Functional Stupidity of a group of business and economics students. By means of a survey and a teaching intervention, data was gathered among Polish business and economics students (N = 428) in April-May 2019. Fuzzy logic was found suitable to analyse the data, as worldviews tend to be general and imprecise. The results show that worldviews of the students are very similar and do not depend on specific characteristic like gender, employment, etc. The only one exception is the direction of the study, which show little influence on the specific view. Interestingly, the teaching intervention does not change specific views. The lack of reflection and justification, as well as the belief in unlimited growth, may lead students to believe that human intervention, when using a system approach, can prevent different types of adverse side effects. Adherence to the New Ecological Paradigm is neutral or positive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransactions on Computational Collective Intelligence XXXVII
Editors Ngoc Thanh Nguyen, Ryszard Kowalczyk, Jacek Mercik, Anna Motylska-Kuźma
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783662665961
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2023

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Economics of information
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Functional stupidity
  • Fuzzy logic
  • New ecological paradigm


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