Our environmental value orientations influence how we respond to climate change

Marshall, Nadine, Thiault, L., Beeden, A., Beeden, R., Benham, Claudia, Curnock, Matt I., Diedrich, Amy, Gurney, Georgina G., Jones, L., Marshall, Paul, Nakamura, N., and Pert, Petina (2019) Our environmental value orientations influence how we respond to climate change. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. 938.

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Abstract

People variably respond to global change in their beliefs, behaviors, and grief (associated with losses incurred). People that are less likely to believe in climate change, adopt pro-environmental behaviors, or report ecological grief are assumed to have different psycho-cultural orientations, and do not perceive changes in environmental condition or any impact upon themselves. We test these assumptions within the context of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), a region currently experiencing significant climate change impacts in the form of coral reef bleaching and increasingly severe cyclones. We develop knowledge of environmental cultural services with the Environmental Schwartz Value Survey (ESVS) into four human value orientations that can explain individuals’ environmental beliefs and behaviors: biospheric (i.e., concern for environment), altruistic (i.e., concern for others, and intrinsic values), egoistic (i.e., concern for personal resources) and hedonic values (i.e., concern for pleasure, comfort, esthetic, and spirituality). Using face-to-face quantitative survey techniques, where 1,934 residents were asked to agree or disagree with a range of statements on a scale of 1–10, we investigate people’s (i) environmental values and value orientations, (ii) perceptions of environmental condition, and (iii) perceptions of impact on self. We show how they relate to the following climate change responses; (i) beliefs at a global and local scale, (ii) participation in pro-environmental behaviors, and (iii) levels of grief associated with ecological change, as measured by respective single survey questions. Results suggest that biospheric and altruistic values influenced all climate change responses. Egoistic values were only influential on grief responses. Perception of environmental change was important in influencing beliefs and grief, and perceptions of impact on self were only important in influencing beliefs. These results suggest that environmental managers could use people’s environmental value orientations to more effectively influence climate change responses toward environmental stewardship and Frontiers in Psychology | www.frontiersin.org 1 June 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 938 fpsyg-10-00938 June 15, 2019 Time: 17:43 # 2 Marshall et al. Values Influence Climate Change Responses sustainability. Communications that target or encourage altruism (through understanding and empathy), biospherism (through information on climate change impacts on the environment), and egoism (through emphasizing the benefits, health and wellbeing derived from a natural resource in good condition), could work.

Item ID: 58732
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
Keywords: environmental behavior; cultural ecosystem services; ecological grief; natural resource management; communication; Great Barrier Reef; Australia; coastal communities
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2019 Marshall, Thiault, Beeden, Beeden, Benham, Curnock, Diedrich, Gurney, Jones, Marshall, Nakamura and Pert. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 04:18
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 10%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960307 Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts) @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 40%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950305 Conserving Natural Heritage @ 20%
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