Linking ecosystem services and human-values theory

Hicks, Christina C., Cinner, Joshua E., Stoeckl, Natalie, and McClanahan, Tim R. (2015) Linking ecosystem services and human-values theory. Conservation Biology, 29 (5). pp. 1471-1480.

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Understanding why people make the decisions they do remains a fundamental challenge facing conservation science. Ecosystem service (ES) (a benefit people derive from an ecosystem) approaches to conservation reflect efforts to anticipate people's preferences and influence their environmental behavior. Yet, the design of ES approaches seldom includes psychological theories of human behavior. We sought to alleviate this omission by applying a psychological theory of human values to a cross-cultural ES assessment. We used interviews and focus groups with fish workers from 28 coral reef fishing communities in 4 countries to qualitatively identify the motivations (i.e., human values) underlying preferences for ES; quantitatively evaluate resource user ES priorities; and identify common patterns among ES motivations and ES priorities (i.e., trade-offs and synergies). Three key findings are evident that align with human values theory. First, motivations underlying preferences for individual ESs reflected multiple human values within the same value domain (e.g., self-enhancement). Second, when averaged at community or country scales, the order of ES priorities was consistent. However, the order belied significant variation that existed among individuals. Third, in line with human values theory, ESs related to one another in a consistent pattern; certain service pairs reflected trade-off relationships (e.g., supporting and provisioning), whereas other service pairs reflected synergistic relationships (e.g., supporting and regulating). Together, these findings help improve understanding of when and why convergence and trade-offs in people's preferences for ESs occur, and this knowledge can inform the development of suitable conservation actions.

Item ID: 39340
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1523-1739
Keywords: cultural psychology; human behavior; motivations; social psychology; synergy; trade-off
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Funders: Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) through the Marine Science for Management scheme (MASMA), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 02:08
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified @ 40%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 30%
14 ECONOMICS > 1499 Other Economics > 149902 Ecological Economics @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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