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Measuring “Awareness of Environmental Consequences”: Two Scales and Two Interpretations

Author

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  • Anthony Ryan
  • Clive L Spash

    () (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)

Abstract

Moderate or poor reliabilities, worrisome correlation patterns and ambiguous dimensionality raise questions about the awareness of consequences scale being a valid measure of egoistic, social-altruistic and biospheric value orientations. These results may, however, indicate something else. An exploratory analysis performed on three samples collected from the general public provides evidence for a reinterpretation of the scale. We believe the concepts of egoistic, social and biospheric value orientations remain important as a potential explanation of behaviour. However, our results imply that whether people cognitively organise their beliefs in this way when considering adverse environmental consequences requires a different approach from the current awareness of consequences scale. The evidence shows the current scale must be reinterpreted as a measure of concern over the positive and negative consequences of environmental action and inaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Ryan & Clive L Spash, 2008. "Measuring “Awareness of Environmental Consequences”: Two Scales and Two Interpretations," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2008-10, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
  • Handle: RePEc:cse:wpaper:2008-10
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    File URL: http://www.csiro.au/files/files/plli.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    2. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    4. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    5. Jack Knetsch, 2005. "Gains, Losses, and the US-EPA Economic Analyses Guidelines: A Hazardous Product?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 91-112, September.
    6. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    7. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
    8. Spash, Clive L., 2000. "Ecosystems, contingent valuation and ethics: the case of wetland re-creation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 195-215, August.
    9. Clive L. Spash, 2006. "Non-Economic Motivation for Contingent Values: Rights and Attitudinal Beliefs in the Willingness To Pay for Environmental Improvements," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 602-622.
    10. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1992. "Status-Quo and Omission Biases," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 49-61, February.
    11. Spash, Clive L. & Urama, Kevin & Burton, Rob & Kenyon, Wendy & Shannon, Peter & Hill, Gary, 2009. "Motives behind willingness to pay for improving biodiversity in a water ecosystem: Economics, ethics and social psychology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 955-964, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2010. "Measuring Beliefs Supportive of Environmental Action and Inaction: A Reinterpretation of the Awareness of Consequences Scale," MPRA Paper 23900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Anthony Ryan & Clive L Spash & Thomas G Measham, 2009. "Household Water Collection in Canberra," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-06, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    3. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2010. "Testing Kahneman's Attitudinal WTP Hypothesis," MPRA Paper 22468, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental beliefs; value orientations; environmental scales; egoistic; altruistic; biospheric; value-belief-norm model;

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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