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Measuring Beliefs Supportive of Environmental Action and Inaction: A Reinterpretation of the Awareness of Consequences Scale

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  • Ryan, Anthony M.
  • Spash, Clive L.

Abstract

The Value-Belief-Norm model assumes that egoistic, social-altruistic and biospheric value orientations causally influence how people cognitively structure beliefs regarding adverse environmental consequences. Empirical studies have administered the Awareness of Consequences (AC) scale to differentiate between these three orientations. We report an analysis which challenges previous work in the field. Evidence is presented that indicates the AC scale should be reinterpreted as a measure of beliefs supporting environmental action and beliefs supporting environmental inaction. The beliefs supporting environmental action appear to be differentiable according to beliefs in the positive consequences from environmental protection and the seriousness of environment harm. This has major implications for the Value-Belief-Norm model and its application.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23900
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23900/1/MPRA_paper_23900.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    5. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1992. "Status-Quo and Omission Biases," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 49-61, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2011. "Is WTP an attitudinal measure? Empirical analysis of the psychological explanation for contingent values," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 674-687.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental attitudes; awareness of consequences scale; environmental beliefs; value orientations; environmental scales; egoistic; altruistic; biospheric; value-belief-norm model;

    JEL classification:

    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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