Value Orientation, Awareness of Consequences, and environmental Concern
Abstract: The tenets of the value-basis approach to environmental concern are (i) that environmental concern is motivated by beliefs about adverse egoistic (e.g. own health), social-altruistic (e.g. peoples’ health), and biospheric consequences of environmental problems (e.g. the balance of the ecosystems), and (ii) that the relative importance of these consequences for environmental concern is determined by individuals’ general value orientations. In Study I the relationships were examined between self-transcendence and self-enhancement value orientations and concern for and beliefs about egoistic, social-altruistic, and biospheric consequences of environmental problems. The results of a survey of Swedish residents (n = 492) showed that both concern for and beliefs about egoistic, social-altruistic, and biospheric consequences of environmental problems are related to the three value types power (concern for and beliefs about egoistic consequences), benevolence (concern for and beliefs about social-altruistic consequences), and universalism (concern for and beliefs about biospheric consequences) located on a value orientation dimension from self-enhancement to self- transcendence. It was also shown that beliefs about consequences partly mediate the effects of value orientation on environmental concern. Study II examined the relationships between self-enhancement and self-transcendent value orientations, beliefs about occurrence of specific environmental problems, and concern for consequences of these problems, and whether these relationships account for attitudes towards and willingness to pay for “green” electricity. The results of another survey of Swedish residents (n = 855) showed that a self-transcendence value orientation, beliefs about environmental problems, and concern for consequences of the problems are positively related to attitude towards and willingness to pay for green electricity. The results also showed that beliefs about occurrence of environmental problems partly mediate the positive influence of a self-transcendence value orientation on environmental concern. In turn, environmental concern was shown to partly mediate the influences of beliefs about environmental problems on attitude towards green electricity
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