Contextual (setting/situational) Control of Pro/Anti Environmental Behavior

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/196064
Title:
Contextual (setting/situational) Control of Pro/Anti Environmental Behavior
Author:
Hill, Dawn Marie
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Proenvironmental behavior (PEB) studies have largely taken a person-centered approach under the assumption that behavior is primarily determined by person attributes. Studies measure knowledge, values, environmentalism, attitudes, etc. - all of which apparently reside in the individual and are posited to cause pro/anti-environmental intention. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that intention only leads to behavior roughly 30% of the time. One reason this breakdown may exist is that half of the "causal" story is missing, which is how much the context (setting/situation) controls behavior. This study attempted to enhance the empirical literature by relying on an evolutionary foundation focused on an empirical investigation of extant contexts that present to-be-solved adaptive problems and that display affordances and cues to adaptive behavior. Furthermore, this study compares the predictive efficacy of both the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) constructs and new evolutionary and functionalist constructs of life history strategy, environmentalism (conceived more as past behavioral history) and consumerism. This study simultaneously contrast-tested this new evolutionarily and contextually-driven approach with the conventional person-centered approach using the same subjects to empirically determine which approach accounts for the most variance (i.e. a multiple working hypothesis format). The dependent variable presented a closer approximation to real behavior in real-life situations as depicted in written multidimensional vignettes, instead of measuring intention alone in a contextual vacuum. Environmental and non-environmental settings were included, as well as theoretically driven situational dimensions that varied systematically to strategically "cue" specific adaptive problems. This study approach relied on the notion that only when the person by context relationship is studied simultaneously can PEB be better predicted. Results confirmed that settings carried a significant proportion of variance in the collapsed 16 situations tested. The TPB paradigm predicted aggregate behavior; however, it (along with measured specific intentions) did not predict specific behavioral choices in the unique situations. Overall results were mixed but suggested that new lines of research attending to the contexts and social situations in which environmental behavior occurs can provide a better basis for understanding and affecting changes in behavior toward environmental ends, as will be required for achieving long-term environmental sustainability.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Behavior; Conservation; Context; Environmental; Evolutionary; Situation
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Psychology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Daniel, Terry C
Committee Chair:
Daniel, Terry C

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleContextual (setting/situational) Control of Pro/Anti Environmental Behavioren_US
dc.creatorHill, Dawn Marieen_US
dc.contributor.authorHill, Dawn Marieen_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractProenvironmental behavior (PEB) studies have largely taken a person-centered approach under the assumption that behavior is primarily determined by person attributes. Studies measure knowledge, values, environmentalism, attitudes, etc. - all of which apparently reside in the individual and are posited to cause pro/anti-environmental intention. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that intention only leads to behavior roughly 30% of the time. One reason this breakdown may exist is that half of the "causal" story is missing, which is how much the context (setting/situation) controls behavior. This study attempted to enhance the empirical literature by relying on an evolutionary foundation focused on an empirical investigation of extant contexts that present to-be-solved adaptive problems and that display affordances and cues to adaptive behavior. Furthermore, this study compares the predictive efficacy of both the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) constructs and new evolutionary and functionalist constructs of life history strategy, environmentalism (conceived more as past behavioral history) and consumerism. This study simultaneously contrast-tested this new evolutionarily and contextually-driven approach with the conventional person-centered approach using the same subjects to empirically determine which approach accounts for the most variance (i.e. a multiple working hypothesis format). The dependent variable presented a closer approximation to real behavior in real-life situations as depicted in written multidimensional vignettes, instead of measuring intention alone in a contextual vacuum. Environmental and non-environmental settings were included, as well as theoretically driven situational dimensions that varied systematically to strategically "cue" specific adaptive problems. This study approach relied on the notion that only when the person by context relationship is studied simultaneously can PEB be better predicted. Results confirmed that settings carried a significant proportion of variance in the collapsed 16 situations tested. The TPB paradigm predicted aggregate behavior; however, it (along with measured specific intentions) did not predict specific behavioral choices in the unique situations. Overall results were mixed but suggested that new lines of research attending to the contexts and social situations in which environmental behavior occurs can provide a better basis for understanding and affecting changes in behavior toward environmental ends, as will be required for achieving long-term environmental sustainability.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectBehavioren_US
dc.subjectConservationen_US
dc.subjectContexten_US
dc.subjectEnvironmentalen_US
dc.subjectEvolutionaryen_US
dc.subjectSituationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDaniel, Terry Cen_US
dc.contributor.chairDaniel, Terry Cen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFigueredo, Aurelio Jen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJacobs, William Jen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10150en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659750723en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.