Valuing Wealth, Power, and Achievement: Self-Enhancing Values and Environmental Behavior Wesley Schultz California State University July 18, 2006 Presentation delivered at the 26th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Athens, Greece. Address correspondences to: Wesley Schultz, Department of Psychology, California State University, San Marcos, CA, 92096. USA. Wschultz@csusm.edu. (760) 750-8045.
Values • Long history in psychology (and social science) with little agreement • Economic value • Price someone is willing to pay for a good or service. • Overvalued, undervalued • “By values, we mean the entire constellation of a person's attitudes, beliefs, opinions, hopes, fears, prejudices, needs, desires, and aspirations that, taken together, govern how one behaves.” (Mitchell, 1983; VALS project) • Life goals. • Standards which serve as a guiding principle in a person’s life.(Schwartz, 1992)
Norm Activation • Values are the wellspring of attitudes, beliefs, and behavior • Individuals often hold conflicting values • Values that are “activated” are stronger predictors of behavior • Norm-activation model of altruism (Schwartz) • Same behavior can be a manifestation of very different values (Stern’s VBN Theory) • Vego(ACego) + Valt(ACalt) + Vbio(ACbio) = behavior
The Inclusion Model Psychological Inclusion Connectedto nature BiosphericMotives + Behavior Inclusion + Separate from nature EgoisticMotive Rational Choice
Schwartz’s Values ScalePlease rate each as “A GUIDING PRINCIPLE IN MY LIFE”
Predicting Environmental Behavior • Schultz & Zelezny (1998) • Self-transcendence r=.24 • Self-enhancement r=-.19 • Consistent pattern across 5 countries • Also evidence for norm activation (for ST only) • Similar pattern reported in other studies: • Grunert and Juhl (1995) • Karp (1996) • Nordlund & Garvill (2002)
Can valuing self lead to conservation? • Maybe egoistic values just need to be “activated” • Participants: 988 students from six countries • Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, India, New Zealand, Russia • Self-reported environmental behavior (12) • Environmental motives (ego, alt, bio) • Schwartz’ values • Self-transcendence / enhancement • Awareness of consequences • Global (should activate self-transcendence) • Local (should activate self-enhancement)
Results? - Environmental Concerns • Multi-group CFA showed good evidence for structural equivalence across countries • Self-enhancement: • r=+.16 egoistic, r=-.12 biospheric • Self-transcendence: • r=-.28 egoistic, r=+.24 biospheric • Consistent across all six countries
Results? - Proenvironmental Behavior • Self-transcendence moderated regression • Self-transcendence (beta= .18) • Awareness of Consequences global (beta=.18) • Ascription of Responsibility global (beta .15) • Three-way multiplicative effect (p<.05) • Self-enhancement • Self-enhancement (-.04, ns) • Awareness of Consequences local (beta=+.07) • Ascription of Responsibility local (beta=+.19) • No significant multiplicative effects
Discussion • Self-transcendent values are correlated with biospheric environmental concerns • Positively with environmental behavior • Especially when activated • Self-enhancing values are correlated with egoistic environmental concerns • Negatively with environmental behavior • No evidence for norm activation
Discussion • Many speculations in the literature that egoistic concerns (and self-enhancement) could lead to environmental behaviors • No evidence here (or elsewhere). Why? 1. Environmental behavior is viewed as “altruism” • Sacrificing. Giving up. Donating. Going without. • No appeal to selfish motives. 2. Environmental behaviors ARE altruistic • Commons Dilemma • GRIT (commons solution) requires sacrifice
Discussion 3. Environmental problems not yet severe enough to activate self-interest • Oil, gas, and conservation? 4. Correlations might not be the right statistic • Egoistic and biospheric concerns “progressively inclusive.” • Biospheric concern does not mean lack of concern for self. • Correlations can’t detect this.
FIGURE 18-3 Average levels of egoistic and biospheric environmental concerns for selected countries.