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The role of social paradigm in human perception and response to environmental change

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Paula Williams
Abstract:
The role of social paradigms in resilience to change is poorly understood. Past research suggests that social paradigms shape human values through socialization, including those for our environment and alter an individual's attentiveness to information. Thus, there is a relationship among personal cognition, the objective environment, social paradigm, and human behavior, which I posit may affect perception of and response to change, hence human adaptive capacity. The western industrialized dominant social paradigm (WISP) is a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that influence our relationship to the environment. It includes beliefs in continuous economic growth; limited governmental intervention in free market systems; and faith that technology will resolve environmental problems. Past research indicates that the WISP correlates negatively with environmental concern and with belief in the need to change behaviors. In this work, measures for environmental values, the WISP, and environmental behaviors were developed from the General Social Survey and analyzed using mediation. The relationship between WISP, environmental concern and environmental behaviors was tested. Regression analysis suggested that WISP reduces environmental concern, thereby reducing environmental behaviors. The spatial relationship between built environment and environmental values and built environment and the WISP was also investigated. The results suggest that geographic regions with less built environment are significantly more environmentally concerned and have higher values of the WISP. Medium-sized cities exhibited significantly lower values of the WISP. Finally, extensive and diverse literature was reviewed to compare other paradigms affecting the relationship between humans and the biophysical environment. Other paradigms foster links between humans and their environment and also serve the purpose of incorporating ritual, myth and story-telling to conform human behavior to the limits of the biophysical environment rather than conforming the biophysical environment to human desires. Accurate perception of environmental feedback and appropriate responses to change increase resilience. This work suggests that the currently predominant social paradigm may reduce our resilience by impairing our perception of change and our willingness to adapt.

V Table of Contents Page Signature Page i Title Page ii Abstract iii Table of Contents v List of Figures x List of Tables x List of Acronyms xi List of Appendices xii Acknowledgements xiii Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 The Relationship Between Human Behaviors and the Environment 2 1.1.1 Environmental Concern and Values 2 1.1.2 Environmental Knowledge 3 1.1.3 Environmental Behaviors 4 1.2 Theories Explaining Environmentally Responsible Behaviors 7 1.2.1 Resilience 7 1.2.2 Social Psychological Theories 10 1.2.2.1 The Theory of Planned Behavior 10 1.2.2.2 Value-Belief-Norm Theory 11

vi Page 1.2.3 Social Paradigm 13 1.3 The Spatial Relationship Between the WISP and Environmental Concern.... 17 1.4 Other Social Paradigms 22 Chapter 2 Methods 24 2.1 Introduction 24 2.2 Statistical Tests Used 26 2.2.1 Factor Analysis 26 2.2.2 Cronbach Alpha 27 2.2.3 Mediation Analysis 27 2.2.4 Pearson Chi Square 27 2.3 The Databases 28 2.3.1 The Kilbourne and Pickett Database 28 2.3.1.1 Measurement Instruments 29 2.3.1.1.1 Environmental concern scale 29 2.3.1.1.2 Environmental behavior scale 30 2.3.1.1.3 DSP scale 30 2.3.2 The GSSDatabase 31 2.3.2.1 Question Assessment Procedure 31 2.3.2.2 Constructs Utilized 33 2.3.2.2.1 Environmental concern and beliefs 33 2.3.2.2.2 Environmental behaviors 33

vii Page 2.3.2.2.3 The western industrial social paradigm 34 2.3.2.2.3.1 Economic 34 2.3.2.2.3.2 Political 34 2.3.2.2.3.3 Technological 34 2.4 Hypothesis One 35 2.5 Hypothesis Two 36 2.6 Hypothesis Three 38 Chapter 3 Results 39 3.1 Introduction 39 3.2 Hypothesis One 39 3.2.1 General Social Survey Database 40 3.2.1.1 Development of Constructs 40 3.2.1.1.1 Environmental concern and beliefs 40 3.2.1.1.2 Environmental behaviors 42 3.2.1.1.3 The western industrialized social paradigm 43 3.2.1.1.3.1 Economic 43 3.2.1.1.3.2 Political 44 3.2.1.1.3.3 Technological 44 3.2.1.1.3.4 WISP combined 39 3.2.2 Mediation Analysis 45 3.2.2.1 GSS Database 46

viii Page 3.2.2.2 Kilbourne and Pickett Database 47 3.3 Hypothesis Two 49 3.3.1 Built Environment and Environmental Concern and Belief. 50 3.3.2 Built Environment and Values of WISP 51 3.4 Hypothesis Three 54 3.4.1 The United States 54 3.4.2 Some International Comparisons of the Human/Environment Relationship 59 3.4.2.1 Mexico 61 3.4.2.2 Japan 62 3.4.2.3 China 63 3.4.3 Traditional or Indigenous Views of the Human/Environment Relationship 65 3.4.3.1 India, Bali, Ethiopia, New Guinea 65 3.4.3.2 Australia: Indigenous and Pastoral 66 3.4.3.3 Alaska and Canada: Indigenous Peoples 68 Chapter 4 Discussion 69 4.1 Hypothesis One 69 4.2 Hypothesis Two 73 4.3 Hypothesis Three 75 4.4 Implications For Resilience 79

ix Page 4.5 Limitations of This Study 85 4.6 Next Steps 86 References 88

X List of Figures Page Figure 1: Visual representation of the hypothesized effect of the dominant social paradigm on the relationship between environmental concern and environmental behaviors 36 Figure 2: GSS database - f3 coefficient values between WISP, environmental concern and beliefs and environmental behaviors. The f3 coefficient value in parenthesis is the value when environmental concern and beliefs predict environmental behaviors 47 Figure 3: Kilbourne & Pickett database - /? coefficient values between WISP, environmental concern and beliefs and environmental behaviors. The /? coefficient value in parenthesis is the value when environmental concern predicts environmental behaviors 48 List of Tables Page Table 1: Crosstabs analysis of city residence size and environmental concern and beliefs 51 Table 2: Crosstabs analysis of city residence size and dominant social paradigm values 53

xi List of Acronyms AC - Awareness of consequences AR - Ascription of responsibility CAS - Complex adaptive system CO2 - Carbon dioxide DSP - Dominant social paradigm ERB - Environmentally responsible behaviors GSS - General Social Survey HEP - Human exceptionalist paradigm HIPPO - Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, population growth, and over consumption NEETF - National Environmental Education Training Foundation NEP - New environmental paradigm later re-named the new ecological paradigm NSRE - National Survey on Recreation and the Environment SES - Socio-ecological system TPB - Theory of planned behavior WISP - Western industrial social paradigm

List of Appendices XII Page Appendix A: Questions From Kilbourne & Pickett Questionnaire Used in My Analysis 106 Appendix B: General Social Survey Questions From Year 2000 Assessed For Use 109 Appendix C: General Social Survey Questions From Year 2000 Used in Analysis 112

xiii Acknowledgements It is with deep ^gratitude that I thank my advisor, Lilian Alessa. I thank her for suggesting that I apply to graduate school, guiding me through the thought process to decide my research questions and helping me think beyond lines to rates, scales, interactions, tradeoffs and complexity. I thank her for her mentoring and for how much I have learned from her. My life is much richer and more fulfilling for her having come into my life. I would also like to acknowledge that her significant edits to my to the introduction of my dissertation, have made my arguments and message much stronger. I also thank Andy Kliskey for his guidance and help in all things practical and necessary. Without his help, getting through the mechanics of doing a dissertation would have been much more difficult. I want to thank both Lil and Andy for the invaluable experience of my extended stay in bush communities and interacting with people in those villages. It brought me a nuanced and deeper understanding of people with a tight bond to their land. I wish to thank Alaska EPSCoR whose financial support was essential in the completion of my dissertation in the short time it has taken. I would also like to thank Peter Schweitzer, Anne Sudkamp and Pips Veazey for their collegiality and all their help throughout. They could make living in Fairbanks fun. I also thank EPSCoR for the collaborations they encourage through their meetings and workshops. Alaska EPSCoR has had a positive influence on my perception of multi-disciplinary research. Robert Boeckmann devoted so much time to guiding me with research design and with the statistical analysis of my dissertation that it became an ethical necessity to ask

xiv him if I could add him to my committee. Without him, I would be mired in a statistical morass. He has been a source of emotional support for me as well. It has been a great privilege to learn from him and to be mentored by him. Claudia Lampman has been a great source of support, focus and balance. She has lent an ear, and helped me keep my focus on what is important. I am thankful to know her and to be mentored by her. I want to thank both Claudia and Robert also for introducing me to social perception theory, which I find fascinating and particularly relevant to my work. William Kilbourne has my special thanks for responding to my emails about his research, for giving me his insights while working through the social paradigm development of my research, and particularly for giving me his permission to use his database on which to conduct my research. I also want to thank my lab mates, Sean Mack and Melia Knecht, who listened to my complaints, joked with me about our foibles and helped make working in the lab fun. Special thanks to my friend Amy Voss for helping me input my syntheses into a database.

1 THE ROLE OF SOCIAL PARADIGM IN HUMAN PERCEPTION AND RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION At both global and national scales, we are facing rapid environmental change, including rising global temperatures (Jones, Parker, Osborn, & Briffa, 2006), increasing extraction costs of non-renewable resources (Livernois & Uhler, 1987), significant transformation of habitats resulting in loss of biodiversity (Forester & Machlis, 1996; Hoekstra, Boucher, Ricketts, & Roberts, 2005) and threats to water sources both in terms of scarcity (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003; Walker & Salt, 2006) and in terms of pollutants (EPA, 2001; 2001; Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003). Research supports the claim that human behaviors are the primary drivers of rapid environmental change in two ways. First, consumer purchases drive both the use of resources, which are extracted from the environment, and the radical transformation of habitat for use by humans. (Soule, 1991; World Resources Institute, 1992). Second, waste generated from the manufacturing process, and from packaging and used products, are discarded into the environment (Piatt & Seldman, 2000). Yet, we do not fully understand how, or to what extent, individuals perceive feedback from the environment and, if they do, whether they are willing to make changes, either to mitigate damage or to adapt to a changing environment. This lack of understanding of human perception and willingness to adapt has profound implications for resilience of humans as a species. If humans insist on continuing behaviors that science indicates has a high probability of being maladaptive, in other words if we refuse to adapt, this creates a significant vulnerability and reduces

2 our resilience as a species. An understanding of the factors that impact the willingness and ability of humans to perceive and respond to changes in the environment is essential. 1.1 The Relationship Between Human Behaviors and the Environment 1.1.1 Environmental Concern and Values National opinion polls administered by Gallup and other polling organizations have predominated research on general American values of and concerns about the environment. Both pollsters and academic researchers have surveyed Americans about their specific understanding of global climate change and environmental concerns, including: water and air pollution, toxic waste, damage to the ozone layer, loss of tropical forests, extinction of plants and animals, acid rain, urban sprawl, and loss of open space (Gallup, 2005, 2006; Hoff & Polack, 1993; Hunter & Brehm, 2003; Leiserowitz, 2004; NEETF/Roper, 2005; among others). The responses from these surveys suggest that a large majority of Americans highly value the environment and believe that humans are negatively impacting it. One national survey of 2,995 Euro-Americans, 248 African-Americans, 169 U.S.-born Latinos, 44 foreign-bora Latinos and 57 Asians found that (84.3%) of respondents highly value the environment and believe that humans are negatively impacting it (NSRE, 2000). Some (about 40%) believe that the overall quality of the environment in the United States is "excellent" or "good" but about one half (48%) rated it "only fair," while roughly 10% called it "poor" (Gallup, 2005). Almost 72% of Americans believe we are about to experience a major environmental catastrophe (Cordell, Betz, & Green, 2002) but what that is, remains unspecified. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they worry a

3 great deal about the quality of the environment; 30% worry a fair amount; and 34% express little to no worry (Gallup, 2005). 1.1.2 Environmental Knowledge Despite expressing high levels of value of and concern about the environment, studies clearly show that Americans, as a group, do not fully understand either the causes or the consequences of environmental problems (Stamm, Clark, & Eblacas, 2000) or how their daily activities contribute to those problems. In a study conducted by Bord, O'Connor and Fisher (2000) 1,218 American adults returned questionnaires that asked them to list various major or primary causes of global climate change. Respondents listed the following causes: pollution/emissions from business and industry (70%), destruction of tropical forests (66%), depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere (65%), people driving their cars (50%), use of coal and oil by utilities or electric companies (46%), use of chemicals to destroy insect pests (28%), use of aerosol spray cans (25%), nuclear power generation (21%) and only 13% thought that people heating and cooling their homes had an impact on global climate change. These responses reflect some of the significant misconceptions held in the public domain about environmental behaviors. Many Americans incorrectly relate depletion of the ozone layer with global climate change as evidenced above by responses that use of aerosol spray cans (which formerly contained chloroflourocarbons, an ozone-depleting chemical ) and depletion of the ozone layer contribute to global climate change. Two other examples of incorrect information include the belief that nuclear power plants Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) were banned in aerosol cans 1987 with the signing of the Montreal Protocol.

4 contribute to climate change, and the low percentage (13%) of people who recognize that heating and cooling homes significantly contribute to global climate change. Global climate change is not the only area of the environment in which Americans have a poor understanding of causes or consequences. Hunter and Brehm (2003) reported that respondents in Utah revealed low levels of knowledge regarding the definition of biodiversity, forces leading to biodiversity loss (with the exception of local population and development pressures), or the implications of biodiversity loss. Similar confusion was found in studies exploring respondents' understanding of the details of natural ecological processes including native and endangered species, fire ecology, forest resources and ecosystem management (Jacobson & Marynowski, 1997) and the processes involved in materials recycling (Ebreo, Hershey, & Vining, 1999; Gamba & Oskamp, 1994). In a study conducted by the National Environmental Education Training Foundation (NEETF) in conjunction with Roper, their report concluded: "Americans have low levels of knowledge on basic environmental facts, underlying science, causes of certain conditions, and important public environmental issues. After three decades of school-based environmental education programs, only one-third of American adults can pass a simple test of environmental knowledge with a grade equivalent to A, B, or C. . . . understanding of causal connection is the single biggest problem in the environmental knowledge gap." (NEETF/Roper, 2005, p. 3). 1.1.3 Environmental Behaviors The low level of knowledge about the environment is paralleled by the comparatively low level of environmental behaviors engaged in by most Americans. In

5 2000, for the first time since 1993, total and per capita waste in the United States increased (Piatt & Seldman, 2000). Although Americans made up only 5% of the world's population in 2005, Americans consumed 68% of the world's energy (Energy Information Administration, 2005). Because Americans eat a diet heavy in beef and other animal products, U.S. per capita grain consumption is four times higher than that of developing countries (Brown & Kane, 1994). The feedback of our behaviors to the environment has resulted in serious consequences. Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. This has resulted in substantial gains in economic development and increased human life spans, but these gains have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2003). Smit and Wandel (2006) suggested that humans may be increasing the resilience of their social systems at the expense of the biophysical system. As a means of categorizing the general areas in which major environmental degradation is occurring, the acronym HIPPO has been coined (Wilson, 2002). The words to which the acronym refers are: habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, population growth, and over consumption. As examples of habitat loss caused by human interactions with the environment, it is estimated that from 1990 to 2000, 1.33 million square kilometers of forest were lost (World Bank, 1999). Every day, an estimated nine square miles of U.S. rural land is lost to development (Durning, 1992). The estimated

6 50,000 invasive plant, insect and animal species in the United States, which are transported by humans to geographic regions to which they are not indigenous cause major environmental damage. Remediation of that damage and attempts to eradicate these species are estimated to cost approximately $137 billion a year in the United States, and these species are the cause of many indigenous species being placed on the threatened or endangered species lists (Pimentel, Lach, Zuniga, & Morrison, 2000). As one example of pollution, CO2 emissions in 2004 in the United States were 5987.98 million metric tonnes (one metric tonne = 1,000 kilograms) (Energy Information Administration, 2005). One group of researchers estimated that adoption of readily available technologies to reduce fossil fuel emissions in Santiago, Chili; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico and New York City, USA would reduce premature deaths in those cities by 64,000 people; chronic bronchitis cases by 65,000; and eliminate 46 million person-days of work loss (Cifuentes, Borja-Aburto, Gouveia, Turnston, & Davis, 2001). The world's population is growing by an estimated 76 million people per year. In 1975, world population was estimated to be 4.074 billion people, it was estimated to increase to 6.465 billion people by 2005 (United Nations, 2005). In the United States, total yearly consumption per household increased from $34,819 in 1997 to $46,409 in 2005. Inflation over that period of time increased at an average yearly rate of 2.1% and consumer expenditures increased an average 3.5% per year (USDOL, 1997-2005). Thus, consumption in the United States has exceeded inflation. Increased consumption leads to increased environmental degradation as discussed above, loss of forests and other habitats from use of wood to make products, or

7 to clear areas for farms or fields for grazing cattle or for development, and increased CO2 emissions caused by use of fossil fuels to manufacture products and transport them, not to mention increased use of other renewable and non-renewable resources as raw materials in the manufacturing process. It would be easy to conclude that lack of environmental knowledge leads to lack of environmental behaviors. However, studies suggest that high levels of environmental knowledge are not correlated with increased environmental behaviors (see, e.g., Dieckmann & Preisendorfer, 1998; Dietz, Stern & Guagnano, 1998; Hunter & Rinner, 2004; Jacobson & Marynowski, 1997; Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002), although knowledge of appropriate action to take to mitigate damage is important (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002; Stern, 1992). So, one must conclude that factors other than lack of environmental knowledge influence environmentally responsible behaviors (ERB) in the United States. 1.2 Theories Explaining Environmentally Responsible Behaviors There are a wide variety of theories in many disciplines that may be used to understand human-environment interactions. A brief description of some of the most compelling follows. 1.2.1 Resilience One theory that has the capacity to integrate and incorporate the concepts of all the other theories below is resilience theory. Resilience theory originated in ecological research in the 1970s, when Holling proposed that the dominant theory of one equilibrium state for an ecosystem may not be accurate (Folke, 2006). Resilience theory

8 applies to complex adaptive systems (CASs). Although there are 4 types of complex systems, social-ecological systems (SESs), in which humans and their environment interact, are predominantly type IV CASs (Gallopin, 2006; Lansing, 2003). Type IV CASs have the following characteristics: Components of a system tend to form patterns and hierarchies without outside influence, which is called self-organization (Folke, 2006). Emergence is the tendency of patterns of hierarchical organization to emerge from the components of the system. This can also refer to emergence of patterns or outcomes that were not expected, which results in surprise (Adger, 2006; Folke, 2006; Walker & Salt, 2006). The social and ecological systems are linked across different temporal and spatial scales, generally, the smaller scales tend to be faster and the larger scales tend to be slower (Folke, 2006). As an example, the carbon cycle of the geophysical system operates on a temporal scale in the range of centuries or longer with a global spatial scale, while the social system of burning hydrocarbons and emitting CO2 happens each day, accumulates much faster than the biophysical system has the ability to absorb, and can be viewed on a spatial scale ranging from households up to global. Despite differences in both temporal and spatial scales, these systems are linked. Complex adaptive systems change primarily in response to chance events and the local rules of interaction change as the system evolves and develops, which leads to nonlinear relationships among the components (Levin, 1998; Walker & Salt, 2006). Social ecological systems also have multiple states or domains, which are preferred positions for the system (Lansing, 2003). These states or domains have thresholds that, if crossed, will cause the system to move to another state (Gallopin, 2006; Gunderson &

9 Holling, 2002; Walker & Salt, 2006). The systems tend to move through adaptive cycles among periods of growth, conservation, release and reorganization (Gunderson & Holling, 2002; Walker & Salt, 2006). Resilience theory has predominantly been used to study either social systems or biophysical systems in isolation. However, researchers are beginning to understand the linkages between these two systems and, increasingly, coupled social-ecological, or socio-ecological, systems are being studied (Gunderson & Holling, 2002; Walker & Salt, 2006). Social-ecological systems have powerful reciprocal feedbacks (Folke, 2006). In social-ecological systems, resilience is interpreted as: 1) the amount of disturbance a system can absorb and still remain within the same state or domain of attraction; 2) the degree to which the system is capable of self-organization (versus lack of organization or organization forced by external factors); and 3) the degree to which the system can build and increase the capacity for learning and adaptation. Resilience is "about the opportunities that disturbance opens up in terms of recombination of evolved structures and processes, renewal of the system and emergence of new trajectories. In this sense, resilience provides adaptive capacity . . ." (Folke, 2006, p. 259). One aspect of social systems that differ from ecological systems is the ability to anticipate and plan for disturbance. Thus, social systems may be capable of responding to disturbance in such a manner that its impact is minimized, or even used to advantage (Smit & Wandel, 2006). In order to be able to plan, adapt, and use disturbances to advantage, social systems (humans) must accurately perceive feedback or disturbance so that effective plans can be made.

10 The following theories examine the interconnection between humans and the biophysical environment primarily with a focus on one component of the human system or the biophysical system, rather than on the systems as a whole and interactions among systems. The theories that focus on human values, attitudes and behaviors toward the environment are social-psychological theories. 1.2.2 Social Psychological Theories A review of the literature indicates that the two primary social-psychological models that have been used to understand and predict environmental behaviors are: the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991) and value-belief-norm theory (Stern & Dietz, 1994; Stern, Dietz, Abel, Guagnano, & Kalof, 1999; Stern, 2000). 1.2.2.1 The Theory of Planned Behavior The theory of planned behavior and value-belief-norm theory have held somewhat conflicting views of how personal behaviors are motivated. Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behavior (TPB) arose from the theory of reasoned behavior developed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980). These theories are based on expectancy-value theory which attempts to explain how people form attitudes and when those attitudes are translated to behaviors. According to geographers, "The concept of attitude is important because it brings together the internal mental life of a person (i.e., cognitions, motivations and emotions) and overt behavioral responses within one framework (Gold, 1980:23)" (Golledge & Stimson, 1997, p. 201). The TPB suggests that people form attitudes in ways that are self-serving; they engage in a cost-benefit analysis when making decisions about how they will behave.

11 According to the theory, attitudes are influenced by three factors: (1) the belief that change in behavior will result in benefits to the individual. (2) The value placed on the potential benefit, and (3) expectancy, which is an overall assessment of the benefits the individual may receive and how much he or she values those benefits. If both benefits and values of the benefit are high, the person will have a positive attitude toward the behavior. Given a positive attitude, the TPB model posits that subjective norms, defined as pressure by important others to either perform or not perform the behavior; and perceived behavioral control, defined as a person's belief in her or his ability to carry out the behavior, also influence whether the behavior will actually occur (Ajzen, 1991; Bamberg & Schmidt, 2003). Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) have used this model to assess and predict a wide range of behaviors, and it has been used to predict ERB as well. Research by Ajzen (1991) suggests that his model may better predict certain behaviors by including motivators based on values and activation of personal norms, which are included in value-belief-norm theory. 1.2.2.2 Value-Belief-Norm Theory Value-belief-norm theory is an outgrowth of the norm-activation model developed by Schwartz (1967; 1977) originating from his research on the mechanisms by which altruistic behaviors are motivated. His model, which he named the norm- activation model, posited that altruistic behaviors are motivated, and can be predicted, from the activation of personal norms. His model has predicted altruistic and moral behaviors well (Fellner & Schwartz, 1971). Empirical studies of environmental values

12 indicate that they are closely and positively correlated with altruistic values (Clump, Ramanaiah, & Sharpe, 2002; Hunecke, Blobaum, Matthies, & Hoger, 2001). Value- belief-norm theory is an outgrowth of the norm-activation model and it focuses on factors that activate personal norms. The factors considered to be important in this model are: (1) values, defined as "criteria for guiding action [and] for developing and maintaining attitudes toward relevant objects and situations" (Stern & Dietz, 1994, p. 67); (2) awareness of consequences (AC), defined as the belief that a situation may have negative consequences for something of value; and (3) ascription of responsibility (AR), the person's belief that she or he has responsibility for causing, or ability to take action, to mitigate a problem (Stern & Dietz, 1994; Stern et al., 1999; Stern, 2000). Stern and Deitz (1994) suggested that most humans use a very abbreviated version of a value-expectancy calculation because even the most motivated person is not capable of considering all possible benefits, outcomes and values. Instead, they suggest that people use rule-based methods to simplify the process of estimating utility, and that values form the basis of many of these rules. In applying norm activation concepts to ERB, Stern and colleagues (Stern, 2000; Stern et al., 1999) narrowed the values dimensions developed by Schwartz to those values that previous research had suggested were significantly correlated to ERB: altruistic, egoistic and traditional values. Their model, however, continues to emphasize the roles of AR and AC in motivating ERB (Stern, 2000; Stern et al., 1999). Research has suggested that including cost-benefit analysis factors such as those used in the theory

13 of planned behavior in a value-belief-norm model of behavior increases its predictive power (Follows & Jobber, 2000; Stern, 2000). The increase in predictive power of these two models by including variables from the other may, at least partially, be explained by research which suggests that those who do not intrinsically value the environment engage in a cost-benefit analysis of environmental behaviors, therefore, the theory of planned behavior predicts these behaviors better; value-belief-norm theory predicts better for those who intrinsically value the environment (Fransson & Garling, 1999). It would seem intuitive to combine the two models, including those factors from each that reach statistical significance in predicting ERB. However, it is my contention that, in addition to combining the two models, another construct is important in predicting ERB. That construct is social paradigm. By a social paradigm I mean the set of concepts, values, and assumptions that constitute a way of viewing reality for a group of people (Kilbourne, 1995). Stern and Deitz (1994) have acknowledged the important contribution of social factors in influencing what is and is not valued by individuals. Social paradigm might be conceptualized as the overarching subjective norm of a group of people or society, one of the components of the model used in the Theory of Planned Behavior. 1.2.3 Social Paradigm In discussions of ERB in the United States two assumptions are commonly made. The most prevalent of the two assumptions is that the economy will be harmed by environmental laws and by environmentally responsible behavior (Boyle, 1994; Milbrath, 1995). The second assumption is that we will not need to change our behavior because

Full document contains 130 pages
Abstract: The role of social paradigms in resilience to change is poorly understood. Past research suggests that social paradigms shape human values through socialization, including those for our environment and alter an individual's attentiveness to information. Thus, there is a relationship among personal cognition, the objective environment, social paradigm, and human behavior, which I posit may affect perception of and response to change, hence human adaptive capacity. The western industrialized dominant social paradigm (WISP) is a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that influence our relationship to the environment. It includes beliefs in continuous economic growth; limited governmental intervention in free market systems; and faith that technology will resolve environmental problems. Past research indicates that the WISP correlates negatively with environmental concern and with belief in the need to change behaviors. In this work, measures for environmental values, the WISP, and environmental behaviors were developed from the General Social Survey and analyzed using mediation. The relationship between WISP, environmental concern and environmental behaviors was tested. Regression analysis suggested that WISP reduces environmental concern, thereby reducing environmental behaviors. The spatial relationship between built environment and environmental values and built environment and the WISP was also investigated. The results suggest that geographic regions with less built environment are significantly more environmentally concerned and have higher values of the WISP. Medium-sized cities exhibited significantly lower values of the WISP. Finally, extensive and diverse literature was reviewed to compare other paradigms affecting the relationship between humans and the biophysical environment. Other paradigms foster links between humans and their environment and also serve the purpose of incorporating ritual, myth and story-telling to conform human behavior to the limits of the biophysical environment rather than conforming the biophysical environment to human desires. Accurate perception of environmental feedback and appropriate responses to change increase resilience. This work suggests that the currently predominant social paradigm may reduce our resilience by impairing our perception of change and our willingness to adapt.