The relevance of studying air pollution comes from its origins and its possible effects in the inhabitants of the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City (MCMA). That is, first, because the pollutants are generated by various anthropogenic activities and, second, because they produce severe impacts on human health. This research identified cultural and personal dimensions that shape the perception, personal norm, attributional model and behavioral intention associated with air pollution. Several instruments have been developed and psychometrically validated to evaluate these dimensions. Perception refers to the perception of air pollution (past, present and future), the perception of causes and effects, and the perception of control (personal or within others). The personal norm was conformed by moral judgment, perceived need of law and others approval. Three types of attribution (personal, behavioral and circumstantial) were evaluated in relation with four behaviors: transportation mode (use of car or public transport), household energy saving and car maintenance.

The scales were applied to 515 residents who live in one of the five areas of the Mexico City Metropolitan area (downtown, northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest): 30 % teens (15 to 18 years), 39 % young adults (25 to 44 years) and 31 % adults (45 to 65 years old). Air pollution is perceived with a pessimistic view to the future and there is awareness of its causes and effects. The perception of control is assigned to others;in consistency personal control and lack of control are perceived in a middle level. Inhabitants feel moral obligation to perform certain behaviors, perceive the need of laws that regulate them and close people's approval on personal behavior is relevant for decision-making. The use of car and public transport is attributed to the benefits of each mode of transport (safety or cost), energy saving is attributed to personal factors and maintenance of the car is attributed to the circumstances (regulations). There is willingness to realize more often some behaviors that contribute to a better air quality, like save energy at home, use more frequently public transport and give maintenance to the car. A model has been created to show that perception of the effects, causes and personal control influences the attribution model and it promotes behavior. The good fit of the model allows providing a theoretical and empirical contribution; on the other hand, the information it provides is needed to improve communication campaigns and strengthen government programs, make them more effective.