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Attitudes toward resource conservation and conservation behaviour: the moderating role of self-interest… Lavallee, Loraine 1992

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ATTITUDES TOWARD RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND CONSERVATIONBEHAVIOUR: THE MODERATING ROLE OF SELF-INTEREST AND SOCIALVALUESbyLORAINE F. LAVALLEEB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1988A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardsTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIADecember 1992© Loraine F. Lavallee, 1992In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of  PsychologyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate ^-^ei '2_DE-6 (2/88)i iAbstractPeople's tendency to deplete shared natural resources has been welldocumented (Edney, 1979; Hardin, 1968). At the same time, however, people aregenerally in favour of resource conservation. A possible explanation for theobserved inconsistency between attitudes toward resource conservation andconservation behaviour is that people do not hold their attitudes with conviction(Abelson, 1988). Attitudes held with conviction, or important attitudes, are attitudesrelated to important goals or values in the self-concept (Kronsnick, 1990). In thepresent study, the attitude object -- resource conservation -- was experimentallylinked to participants' important values to investigate whether attitude importance,conservation behaviour, and attitude-behaviour correspondence would beenhanced.Eighty-four subjects, pretested on the positivity of their attitudes towardresource conservation and the relative importance of personal versus social values,were selected for the study. Participating in groups of 3 to 6, subjects read anexperimental message that either described the societal or personal outcomes ofresource depletion. For half of the participants the message linked the issue to theirmore important value, for the other half the message linked the issue to a lessimportant value. After reading the message, the positivity and importance ofsubjects' attitudes were measured. Then subjects completed a replenishableresource task that manipulated the costs (low or high) of conserving a sharedresource and served as the measure of conservation behaviour.The predicted effects were not found: linking attitudes to more important ascompared to less important values did not increase attitude importance,conservation behaviour or attitude-behaviour consistency. Additional analyses,which included pretest attitude positivity, however, demonstrated that whenconservation behaviour was costly to perform, subjects with more positive attitudesi i itoward resource conservation were more likely than people with less positiveattitudes to conserve the resource. When the correlations between pretest attitudepositivity and conservation behaviour were examined, the correspondence betweenattitudes and behaviour was found to be strong only when behaviour was costly toperform and when subjects were made aware of the personal rather than the societaloutcomes of resource depletion. These results suggest that both positive attitudesand awareness of the potential personal outcomes of conservation are needed tomotivate people to conserve a shared resource.TABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract^ iiTable of Contents^ ivList of Tables vList of Figures^ viAcknowledgement viiIntroduction^ 1The Commons Dilemma^ 1Solutions for Commons Dilemmas^ 2Attitude Conviction / Importance Research^ 3Important Attitudes and Behaviour 9The Present Study^ 11Method^ 14Overview 14Subjects 15Procedure^ 15I. Pretest 15II. Laboratory Study^ 16Results^ 22Pretest Value and Attitude Scales^ 22Manipulation Checks^ 24Attitude Importance and Attitude Change^ 24Conservation Behaviour 26Correlations Between Attitudes and Behaviour 28Discussion^ 29References 36Appendix 1^ 46Appendix 2 51ivList of TablesV1. Correlations between Goal Survey Subscales andValue Items from the Rokeach Value Survey 402. Mean Attitude Change by Message-Type and Value-Orientation 413. Mean Conservation Behaviour by Positivity of Pretest Attitudes,Message-Type and Cost 424. Correlations between attitude measures and behaviour bycost condition and message-type 43List of FiguresFigure 1. Attitude change as a function of message-type(personal-outcome versus societal-outcome) andvalue-orientation (social versus personal) 44Figure 2.^Average conservation behaviour as a function ofpretest attitude positivity, message-type andcomputer cost condition (high cost versus low cost)^45viAcknowledgementThis thesis was made possible with the assistance and support of manypeople. First, I would like to thank my wonderful friend and colleague, Ilana Katz, foralways being available to pull me out of times of thesis crisis and despair. A specialthanks to Jacqueline Vorauer who, through many long discussions of the theorysurrounding this research, helped to develop the research questions and who wasalways available to discuss problems that surfaced over the course of this project.My partner, Barry Booth, in many ways inspired this research through his love andappreciation of the natural environment, and his dedication to its protection.Dr. Jennifer Campbell, my advisor, gave me the freedom to pursue theresearch close to my heart and helped me to do this rigorously; for this I am deeplygrateful. A sincere thanks goes to the members of my thesis committee, Drs.Rebecca Collins and Dan Perlman, for their support, guidance, patience andthoughtful comments.Also, I wish to thank my family; my father for imparting his analytical skills andintellectual curiosity, my mother for her love and confidence, and my brother forconstantly challenging my beliefs. Finally, I would like to thank a wonderful circle offriends, dedicated to social change, who help to give me strength to pursue mygoals: Tarel Quandt, Karen Harlos, Chris Rolfe, Linda Robertson, Cynthia Johnstonand Joan Bratty.vii1IntroductionThe late 20th century has been marred by the discovery of serious globalenvironmental problems. Problems such as ozone depletion, global climate change,deforestation and soil degradation threaten to destroy the environmental conditionsthat support the lives of many species, including our own. These environmentalproblems, as the product of human activities, demand an investigation into humanbehaviour as it relates to the natural environment.The Commons DilemmaSocial scientists, in trying to understand the human tendency to over-exploitand destroy shared natural resources, often refer to the parable of "the tragedy of thecommons" (Hardin, 1968). In this parable, the commons are public pasturelands,and the tragedy is that individual shepherds, in pursuing their individual self-interest,are motivated to add as many animals as possible to their stock even though similaractions by other shepherds will result in overgrazing and destruction of thecommons. Individual shepherds are each faced with the decision of whether or notto increase the size of their herd. Increasing the size of the herd means, in the short-term, increased wealth. However, if most of the shepherds pursue their ownimmediate self-interest and increase the size of their herds, the commons will beovergrazed. If the commons is destroyed all the shepherds in the community will beworse off than when they started with only small herds of goats. Thus, a tragedy ofthe commons occurs when the consumption of the people using a common pool ofresources exceeds the supply of the pool and as a result the resource is destroyed.There are a number of factors that are thought to produce over-exploitation ofnatural resources in the commons dilemma. First, people are assumed to be self-interested "rational" utility maximizers (Herrnstein, 1990; Olsen, 1971). Second,behaviour directed at maximizing self-interest in the commons situation has twooutcomes: in the short-term, it brings positive rewards (e.g., increased wealth); it is2only in the long-term that it produces negative consequences such as resourcedepletion (Brechner, 1977; Platt, 1973). Third, commons dilemmas are situations ofsocial interdependence in which individual decisions have implications not only forthe individual, but also for the welfare of all the other people relying on the commonlyheld resource. A complicating characteristic of interdependent situations is that thebehaviour of the collective has a stronger impact on the individual than the individualhas on the collective (Kelly & Grzelak, 1972). Thus, the behaviour of a singleindividual is not sufficient either to maintain or to ruin the shared resource (Lynn &Oldenquist, 1986).Most global environmental problems fit the commons dilemma analogy. Forexample, most residents of highly developed nations, in trying to maximize thecomfort of their daily lives, use appliances (e.g., refrigerators, air-conditioners) whichemit synthetic chemicals (CFCs). These chemicals are destroying the ozone layer(which screens out approximately 99% of the Sun's damaging ultraviolet radiation)for all people on the planet (including those in countries where few CFCs areproduced) and for future generations. If any one individual decides to stop usingCFC-producing products, however, the contribution to the preservation of the ozonelayer would be negligible and could not prevent its depletion.Solutions for Commons DilemmasMost of the solutions that have been put forward to prevent commonsdilemmas involve either dismantling the commons by breaking it down intoindividually held territories or eliminating the dilemma by changing the payoff forengaging in the short-term self-interested behaviours (e.g., Crowe, 1969; Dawes,1980; Platt, 1973). These solutions unfortunately are often impractical or impossiblefor solving global environmental problems (Lynn & Oldenquist, 1986). Many naturalresources cannot be divided into individual territories for protection (e.g. fugitivewater resources, the ozone layer). Although laboratory studies have demonstrated3that dividing the commons into individual territories results in the longer life of theresource (e.g., Acheson, 1975; Cass & Edney, 1978), practical experience outsideof the laboratory has often shown very different results.Changing the payoff for engaging in environmentally destructive behaviourinvolves measures such as rewarding conservation behaviour or creating punitivelaws to discourage environmentally damaging behaviour. Both of these measuresare costly to the collective. Because corporations frequently refuse to comply withenvironmental laws (DiMento, 1989), extensive enforcement and legal personnel areneeded to ensure that environmental regulations are followed. Monitoring andprosecuting offenders of environmental laws may, in some cases, cost the collectivemore than cleaning up or fixing the environmental problem after its occurrence.Further, undesirable negative attitudes can accompany attempts to mandatebehaviour through disincentive or punishment tactics (Geller, 1987). These tacticsoften generate psychological reactance and non-compliance because they posethreats to individual freedoms (Edney, 1980).Numerous field experiments have demonstrated that rewards and incentivesencourage people to engage in environmentally responsible actions (see Cones &Hayes, 1980; Geller, 1987, for reviews). However, all of the behavioural communityresearch in the area of environmental protection has demonstrated beneficialbehaviour change only while the short-term treatment strategy was in effect (Geller,1987). Most experimental reward programs are implemented with the hope thatafter the contrived incentives are discontinued target behaviors will be maintained byintrinsic or internal rewards; possibly from positive attitudes developed toward thebehaviour. The evidence, however, shows that target behaviours typically return topre-intervention levels once an intervention is terminated (Geller, 1987).Government initiated energy conservation programs, even when they offeredfinancial incentives for adopting energy conserving measures, have not been4successful at encouraging widespread energy conservation (Archer, Pettigrew,Costanzo, Iritani, Walker, & White, 1987; Costanzo, Archer, Aronson, & Pettigrew,1986; Dennis, Soderstrom, Koncinski, & Cavanaugh, 1990).A more general concern about offering rewards for conservation behaviour isthat incentives encourage a continued dependency on immediate external rewards.Stern and Kirkpatrick (1977) have argued that incentive programs may actuallyaggravate the current environmental problems. Because incentives keep the focuson immediate rewards, they prevent us from developing a farsighted viewpointnecessary for prevention of future environmental destruction. The question thatremains then is how do people become committed to the collective, long-term goal ofresource conservation? Geller (1987), in spite of his behaviourist perspective, hasargued that positive attitudes associated with a change in behaviour will increase thepossibility that environmentally responsible behaviours will persist.From an investigation of environmental activists (people who are currentlyacting to protect collective resources), Mitchell (1980) found that conservationefforts were primarily motivated by concern for the collective resource and "moralincentives." Concern for the collective resource is thought to stem from thesubjective importance or value ascribed to the particular environmental issue. Moralincentives are described as the internal feelings of increased self-esteem for acting ina manner consistent with one's values, beliefs and attitudes or guilt for not acting toprotect something that is valued. Mitchell argues that his analysis of environmentalaction is consistent with the belief that humans are self-interested utility maximizers;however, he suggests that factors other than simply material and economic rewardsinfluence the utility of particular outcomes. In the case of environmental issues,many of the rewards are internal (Mitchell, 1980).5Attitude Conviction/Importance Research The concept in social psychology that captures Mitchell's idea of subjectiveimportance or value ascribed to an environmental issue is people's attitude towardthe issue. Mitchell's analysis of environmental activism suggests that people may actto protect a collectively-held resource if they hold strong positive attitudes about theissue; attitudes strong enough to serve as a consistent guide for behaviour. Inaddition, they must be attitudes that are linked to the self-concept of the individual inorder for people to experience an elevation in their self-esteem for behaving in amanner consistent with the attitude and feelings of guilt for inconsistent behaviour.Although the history of attitude research suggests that measured attitudeshave often turned out to be poor predictors of behaviour (Abelson 1988; Ajzen &Fishbein, 1977; McGuire, 1969; Wicker, 1969, 1971), the attitudes of environmentalactivists have often been found to be good predictors of their pro-environmentalactions (see Sia, Hungerford, & Tomera, 1986/87, for a review). Maloney and Ward(1973), for example, found a moderate relation between the environmental attitudesof non-activists and their actual behaviour, but a very strong relation betweenenvironmental attitudes and behaviour (r = .83) for Sierra Club members. For peoplewho hold their attitudes and beliefs with conviction, it appears that attitudes serve asan influential guide for action."If we could identify the presence of conviction, most of the difficultiesbesetting the study of attitudes might be eased or resolved altogether" (Abelson,1988, pp. 267). Measuring the conviction with which a person holds a particularattitude is especially important when investigating an attitude object such asenvironmental conservation. Because attitudes toward the environment aregenerally positive and favouring environmental protection is socially desirable, thedistinction between a positive attitude held with conviction and one that is not heldwith conviction is essential for predicting conservation behaviour. The idea of6conviction is not a new one in social psychology. An early incarnation was theconcept of ego-involved attitudes developed by Sherif and Cantril (1947). Theclassic definition is that ego-involved attitudes are "attitudes that the individualidentifies with and makes a part of himself; and that have affective properties ofvarying degrees of intensity" (1947, pp. 126-127). According to this definition, ego-involved attitudes are a fundamental part of the individual's self-definition.A more recent examination of the idea of conviction is found in Krosnick's(1988a, 1988b, 1989, 1990) research on attitude importance. Similar to Sherif andCantril, Krosnick (1988a) argued that the importance of an attitude derives from theextent to which the self is linked with the attitude object. Specifically, attitudesattached to the primary goal and need structure of the individual are predicted tobecome personally important (Converse, 1964; Krosnick, 1990). Krosnick identifiesthree ways in which attitudes become linked to the primary goal and need structure:(1) through the individual's basic social and personal values, (2) identification with areference group or individuals and (3) perceptions that the attitude object is linked toone's material self-interest or clearly and directly impacts upon one's rights,privileges or lifestyle.Krosnick's idea that important attitudes result when a link is formed betweenthe attitude object and an individual's values derives from the work on ego-involvedattitudes. Although ego-involved attitudes were defined as attitudes linked to theself, Sherif and Cantril (1947) viewed the self primarily as a constellation of social andpersonal values. Ego-involving attitudes were thus attitudes that involved theindividual's central values. Ostrom and Brook (1968), argued that the closer theassociation between an attitude object and an individual's values, and the moreimportant the values, the higher the degree of attitudinal involvement and the moreimportant the attitude was likely to become. Ego-involved attitudes were typically7used to describe attitudes relating to important social or political issues; issues thatcould be seen as clearly implicating social values.The second basis of attitude importance identified by Krosnick (1988a) wassocial identification with reference groups or reference individuals. Krosnick hasargued that identification with a social group whose rights or privileges are at stakewill produce important attitudes about issues related to those rights and privileges.In addition, identification with a group that consensually considers an attitudes issueto be important may produce important attitudes. Core values and socialidentification are the two components thought to give rise to another conviction-related attitude concept -- symbolic attitudes. Kinder and Sears (1981) argue thatsymbolic attitudes are formed mainly in congruence with long-standing values aboutsociety. Similar to ego-involved attitudes, symbolic attitudes are conceptualized asderiving their affective content from personal needs broadly related to issues of selfand identity (Herek, 1986). These attitudes are thought to serve as a symbol forvalues integral to self-concept and as the basis for acceptance or rejection byimportant others.Symbolic attitudes are typically contrasted with attitudes linked with self-interest: the third type of important attitude identified by Krosnick (1990). Importantattitudes based on self-interest are attitudes linked to the satisfaction of one's currentprivate needs such as tangible rights, opportunities, goods, wealth, privileges orlifestyle (Boniger, Krosnick, & Berent, 1992). These attitudes are principally basedon appraisals of the attitude object in terms of its utility for the individual. This broaddefinition of self-interest is difficult to distinguish from personal values, whichKrosnick includes under value-relevant attitudes.Rokeach (1973) defines values as the individual's belief about "desired" endstates worth attaining or terminal values (e.g., freedom, equality, a comfortable life)and preferred modes of conduct or instrumental values (e.g., ambitious, loving,8responsible). Terminal values can be of two types: self-centered (e.g., pleasure:defined as an enjoyable, leisurely life) and society-centered (e.g., a world at peace).Situations that involve our self-interest likely do so because they implicate ourpersonal or "self-centered" values. Thus, the actual distinction between self-interestand value-relevance would not be values per se; rather it would be whether the issuehas direct implications for ourselves or our quality of life (which we value), or if itimpacts on something or someone that we value other than ourselves.The following example is an illustration of the distinction between self-centered and society-centered motives being made here. Many environmentalissues represent the loss of valuable resources for future generations. The concernfor future generations is not a directly self-interested concern because the absenceof resources in the future will not impact our own material wealth or quality of life.However, the extent to which people are moved by the concern that we are reducingthe potential for a high quality of life for future generations may depend on whether ornot they are parents. Parents, because of their personal connection with the futuregenerations, may be more likely to feel guilt and act to protect the environment if theybelieve they are creating future hardships for their children. According to thedistinction between self-centered and society-centered values made above, actionon the part of parents would still be considered a society-centered action even if theaction stems from a parent's internal feelings of guilt based on their relationship withtheir children.Krosnick (1990) conducted two studies to test the hypothesis that attitudeimportance is related to value relevance, self-interest, and social identification. In thefirst study, subjects were asked to report the importance of a series of attitudes.They were then asked to list the thoughts that went through their minds as they madethose ratings and the reasons why they rated as they did. Across a range of politicalattitudes, nearly all of the explanatory statements addressed self-interest, social9identification, or values. Self-interest reasons were mentioned more frequently thanwere social identification or value reasons. There were no other causes of attitudeimportance mentioned. In the second study, Krosnick found that self-interest, socialidentification, and value relevance significantly predicted attitude importance acrossa wide range of political issues. Again, self-interest proved to be the best predictor ofattitude importance.Important Attitudes and Behaviour Two sources of attitude importance, self-interest and relevance to socialvalues, match the conflict of interests described in the commons dilemma. Thecommons dilemma, as described above, presents a conflict between the individual'sself-interest and collective or societal interests to preserve resources. Manyinvestigators of commons dilemmas have argued that people will not conserve acollective resource unless it is clearly in their self-interest to do so. There is howeverevidence in the attitude-behaviour literature suggesting that both self-interest andsocial values influence people's attitude-related behaviour.Studies of symbolic attitudes have demonstrated that attitudes associatedwith important values can exert a greater influence over behaviour than self-interest.Voting behaviour, for example, appears to be more strongly influenced by ideologicaland value-related beliefs than by the possible personal benefits of voting for aparticular candidate (Kinder & Sears, 1981; Sears & Lau, 1983, Sears, Lau, Tyler, &Allen, 1980). In addition, Sears and Kinder (1985) demonstrated that racist attitudesand conservative ideologies were better predictors of whites' opposition to racialbusing than objective measures of self-interest such as having a child likely to bebused. Studies of symbolic attitudes, however, have been criticized for a number ofreasons. First, elections do not tend to offer voters tangible personal outcomes;generally there is little connection between voting and any specific individual payoffs(Sniderman & Tetlock, 1986a, 1986b). Second, in many of these studies self-1 0interest was assessed in an objective manner rather than in terms of an individual'sown perceptions (Boniger et al., 1992). For example, all people living in aneighbourhood likely to become racially integrated would be judged as having equalamounts of objective self-interest in racial issues.In terms of the impact of self-interest on the attitude-behaviour relation,Sivacek and Crano (1982) have demonstrated that people behave in a manner moreconsistent with their attitudes when an issue implicates their self-interest. In onestudy, students' attitudes toward a proposed state law to raise the drinking age fromeighteen to twenty-one were measured. Later, these students were called and askedto help campaign against the proposed law. Although nearly all students opposedthe law, the correlation between attitudes and behaviour was significantly strongerfor the younger students who would be directly affected by the law as compared toolder students who would not be impacted. Similar results were found in the secondstudy, where students attitudes toward university-wide comprehensive exams wereexamined. It was found that students with greater self-reported vested-interest weremore likely to volunteer time in a campaign against the exams than people with lessvested-interest.Further, in a study which parallels the conflict of interests presented in thecommons dilemma, Borgida and Campbell (1982) found that people's attitudestoward air pollution corresponded with their behaviour only when there was noconflicting self-interest (e.g., desire for more easily available parking). The results ofthis study suggest that self-interest takes precedence over environmental attitudes.Finally, in a study of energy consumption, Seligman and associates (Seligman, Kriss,Darley, Fazio, Becker, & Pryor, 1979) found that the best predictors of energyconserving behaviour were beliefs about the negative personal consequences (e.g.,impact on comfort and health) expected to result from a protracted energy crisis.11What is unclear from the self-interest research is whether the presence of self-interest changes the attitude from one that is unimportant to one that is importantand influential in behavioural decisions, or whether the importance of the attitudeessentially remains unchanged and self-interest simply propels people to act on theirbeliefs in that particular situation. The latter case suggests that in a particularsituation both self-interest and positive attitudes are needed for action, whereas theformer interpretation suggests that linking the attitude object to the self-concept mayproduce permanent, important attitudes which guide behaviour across situations.The Present StudyThe theory presented above argues that when an attitude object is linked tothe self-concept it will become personally important and would serve as a guide forbehaviour. Previous, research on attitude importance examined whether importancewas related to value-relevance, self-interest, and social identification. The relationbetween attitudes and the self-concept, however, has never been experimentallymanipulated. The present study investigated whether experimentally linking theattitude object, resource conservation, to the self-concept (specifically self-interestand social values) would increase the importance of the attitude and conservationbehaviour.There were two components to the study: A pretest questionnaire and alaboratory study. Although it is probable that all people are influenced to someextent by self-interest (personal values) and social values, it is likely that people aredifferentially influenced by these values depending on the hierarchy of values in theirself-concepts. Ostrom and Brock (1968), for example, emphasized that attitudeslinked to the most central or important values in the self-system would engendergreater involvement than attitudes linked to less important values. Thus, subjectswere selected to participate in this study based on a pretest measure of the relativeimportance of personal and social values. If subjects had relatively high scores on12one value dimension and relatively low scores on the other, they were eligible toparticipate.The pretest questionnaire also included a measure of the positivity of subjects'attitude toward resource conservation. Over the past three years there has beenextensive media coverage of global environmental problems. As a result, mostparticipants entered the study with attitudes already formed on the issue of resourceconservation. This study, however, was not designed as a tradition persuasionstudy. Manipulating the degree of relation between the attitude object and the selfwas not expected to produce dramatic changes in the positivity of the attitude, but itwas designed to influence the importance or the conviction with which the issue washeld.In the experimental component of the study, the degree of relation betweenthe attitude object and the self-concept was manipulated to test if attitudes that aremore closely related to the self-concept as compared to those less closely related tothe self-concept would be judged as more important. Participants were exposed toone of the two experimental messages designed to link resource conservation to theself-concept: One linked resource conservation to societal outcomes (social valuemessage), the other to personal outcomes (self-interest/personal value message).Half of the participants, therefore, received a message related to their more importantvalue (the strong self-linked group), the other half received a message related to aless important value (the weak self-linked group). Participants within theexperimental groups were matched on the positivity of their pretest attitudes towardresource conservation. It was predicted that subjects in the strong self-linked groupas compared to the weak self-linked group would rate resource conservation ashigher in importance.Justifications for conserving the earth's natural resources can easily beframed in terms of either self-interest or social values. Appeals for environmental13action are often framed in terms of the impact of resource depletion on society --moral appeals. Although people who strongly hold personal values above socialvalues may see the validity of arguments directed at their social conscience, thesearguments may not truly engage or involve them. As a result, messages exposingpersonal-value oriented people to the societal benefits of environmental action mayproduced positive attitudes toward environmental protection, but not attitudes thatare important or accessible enough to govern behavior (e.g., Borgida & Campbell,1982). Describing the personal outcomes from resource conservation, however,may motivate conservation behaviour.The degree of relation between the self and the attitude object was alsopredicted to influence conservation behaviour. The behavioural measure in thisstudy was the amount that people conserved a shared resource when playing agroup conservation computer analogue. The computer analogue models thecommons dilemma in that a group of people use a shared resource over a number oftrials. If the group members use the resource moderately over trials the resource willreplenish itself and persist over time allowing the group members to continue toconsume the resource indefinitely. If, on the other hand, group members consumelarge amounts of the resource, the resource will deplete very quickly. The computertask was programmed to make it appear that each participant was playing the gamein interaction with the other participates in the experimental session. Actually,participants were playing with pre-programmed responses. Two versions of thecomputer game were used: In one version, the cooperative game, the "other" groupmembers were consuming a modest amount of the resource; the consumption rateallowed the resource to persist over time. In the other version, the competitive game,the "other" group members were consuming large portions of the resource, and theresource began to deplete very quickly.14The two different computer programs served as a manipulation of the costs ofconserving. They provided a condition where it was relatively cost free to conservethe shared resource (cooperative game) and a condition where it was costly toconserve (competitive game). It is costly to conserve with the competitive gamebecause other participants are taking large amounts of the resource, benefittingpersonally and depleting the resource. To preserve the resource, the subject has torestrain personal consumption and take a personal loss, while the others are over-consuming. The competitive condition more closely matches the currentenvironmental situation where individuals need to make personal sacrifices to helppreserve resources even when others are exasperating the problem and personallybenefitting by over-consuming.Overall, subjects in the strong self-linked group were predicted to conservemore than people in the weak self-linked group. However, the difference betweenthese groups was expected to be particularly pronounced with the high cost(competitive) game. In order to take the personal loss that conservation entails in thehigh cost game, subjects needed to have strong convictions about the issue.Finally, in terms of attitude-behaviour correspondence, it was predicted thatthe correlation between attitude importance and behaviour would be stronger thanthe correlation between attitude positivity and behaviour.MethodOverviewThe study had two components. The first component was a pretest measureof university students' values, goals, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour related toenvironmental issues. Based on pretest value and attitude scores, subjects wereselected for the second, experimental component. Subjects, participating in groupsof 3 to 6, received a persuasive message that either linked the issue of resourceconservation to personal outcomes (self-interest message) or to societal outcomes15(social value message). For half of the participants, the message was related to aself-goal that was important to them (strong self-linked group), for the other half themessage was related to a less important self-goal (weak self-linked group). Afterreading the message, attitude importance and positivity were measured. In afollowing, ostensibly unrelated study, conservation behaviour was measured using areplenishable resource conservation computer task.SubjectsSubjects were 84 undergraduate students (49 women and 35 men). The agerange was 17 to 43 with a mean age of 20. Subjects were drawn from a largersample (N = 564) recruited from first- and second-year psychology courses whocompleted a pretest questionnaire for course credit.ProcedurePretestSubjects completed a questionnaire, administered as a take-home package,during the first few weeks of classes. The battery included a large number of scales,the ones of relevance to this study were: the Rokeach Value Survey (Rokeach,1973, 1979), the Goal Survey, and a 6-item (6-point) Liken scale measuring attitudestoward resource conservation. The Goal Survey was used to select subjects forparticipation in the study. The Rokeach Value Survey was used to assess the validityof the Goal Survey.The Rokeach Value Survey consists of two lists of 18 values each: terminalvalues (desired end-states of existence) and instrumental values (preferred modes ofconduct). Subjects are asked, with each list, to rank order the 18 values in terms oftheir importance to the subject. A considerable body of evidence concerning thereliability and validity of the Value Survey can be found in Rokeach (1979). The GoalSurvey was developed specifically for this study to measure the relative importanceof self-interest versus social value orientations. The Goal Survey included one list of1617 long-term goals selected from a variety of values (Rokeach, 1967; Braithwaite &Law, 1985), life goals (Buhler & Massarik, 1968), and personal commitments(Novacek & Lazarus, in press). Goals were selected to be similar to Rokeach'sconcept of terminal values or desired end-states of existence -- which can also bedescribed as long-term goals.Participants were asked to rate the 17 goals on four dimensions using 7-pointscales. The four dimensions included (1) the importance of each of the goals to theparticipant (1 = low importance, 7 = high importance); (2) the extent to whichparticipants were actively pursuing the goal in their life at this time (1 = not at allpursing, 7 = pursuing very actively); (3) the extent to which the participant felt theywere likely to achieve the goal (1 = not very possible to achieve, 7 = very possible toachieve); and (4) the extent to which the participants believed they controlled theachievement of the goal (1 = achievement will be completely determined by externalfactors, 7 = achievement will be completely determined by the participant).The two self orientations of relevance for this study (personal values andsocial values) were assessed by subscales made up of three items each. Thepersonal value (self-interest) subscale included the following items: careeradvancement, financial prosperity, and a secure and comfortable life. The socialvalue subscale included: contributing my share to society, social justice and equality,social reform. The importance and pursuit ratings for the three items in eachsubscale were added together to provide an overall score assessing the participants'commitment to the value-orientation. Eligible participants for the study includedthose who scored above the mean on one of the subscales and below the mean onthe other (see Results for further details).Laboratory StudyParticipants were called five months after the pretest and asked to participatein two studies for course credit. They were first scheduled for a study called "the17media and memory" and then, immediately after, a second study about groupdecision making. Forty-three personal-value orientated and 41 social-valueorientated subjects, matched on pretest attitude positivity, were selected toparticipate. The eligible participants within each of the two value orientations wererandomly assigned to either receive the personal- or societal-outcome message.Thus, half of the subjects received a message that was consistent with their moreimportant value (strong self-linked group), the other half received a message thatwas related to a less important-value (weak self-linked group). The experimentalgroups were equated on positivity of pretest attitudes.Media and Memory Study.Subjects, participating in groups of 3 to 6, were told that the Media andMemory study examined the effects of different media sources (newspaper,television, and radio) on memory. All participants were informed that they wereassigned to the newspaper condition, and received the experimental message inwritten form. Participants were asked to read the newspaper editorial and were toldthat they would subsequently be asked questions that assessed the effectiveness ofthe newspaper medium at conveying information. In each session, there was amixture of participants from the two value orientations assigned to differentexperimental conditions. Participants were not aware that there were two versions ofthe article.The written messages served as the primary independent variablemanipulating the association of the attitude object to the self-concept. Subjects weretold that the message was an editorial from a national newspaper. The messageswere each two pages, the self-interest article was 988 words and the social valuearticle was 982 words in length. Both messages presented the same description ofthe problems of deforestation, global climate change, species extinction, ozonedepletion, toxic wastes, and water pollution, but each described different outcomes(personal versus societal) associated with these environmental problems (seeAppendix 1 for the two experimental messages). The following is an excerpt fromthe experimental messages showing the shared information and the differentoutcomes described.Common Information. The depletion of the ozone layer is of growing concern inCanada and around the world. Located between 20 and 50 km abovethe earth's surface, the ozone layer screens out around 99% of thepotentially deadly ultraviolet radiation (UV) in the incoming sunshine.The depletion of the ozone layer is due to the accumulation of highconcentrations of synthetic chemicals (CFCs) in the upperatmosphere. CFCs are used in refrigerators, in air-conditioners, in dry-cleaning solvents, in foam plastic and as propellants in aerosols.Personal-Outcome Message. It is now known that the ozone layer above southern Canada isdramatically depleted. Thinning of the layer means Canadians will besubjected to more radiation, which is expected to increase rates of skincancer and cataracts, accelerate physical aging, and weaken theimmune system. During the past 15 years the incidence of melanoma,the most serious type of skin cancer, has increased more than 100 percent.Societal-Outcome Message. UV radiation threatens ocean food chains, because manyplankton species are highly sensitive to it. Plankton are the essentialfood source for many fish and are also important in oxygen production.In addition, plant productivity is expected to decrease worldwide withthe increase in UV radiation. This disruption in productivity would leadto widespread crop failure and starvation.The messages were equated for strength of arguments based on the resultsof pilot test. In the pilot test, 32 students in a third-year social psychology class ratedthe strength of 20 arguments about resource conservation on 5-point scales, (where1= weak and 5 = strong). Eleven arguments in the pilot test related to social-outcomes and 9 related to personal-outcomes of resource conservation. Sevenarguments were select for each experimental message, the total strength scores ofthe arguments for each message were equal.After reading the experimental message, subjects were assigned to individualrooms to complete a short computer task designed to measure attitude accessibility1819and to complete a questionnaire that included a manipulation check, measures ofattitude importance and the pretest attitude positivity scale. For the attitudeaccessibility task, 10 issues were presented on a micro-computer, each followed byan evaluative adjective (e.g., censorship: bad; native self-government: good)(seeFazio et al., 1984). Participants were instructed to press the Y key to indicate if theyagreed with the evaluation, the N key if they disagreed. They were told to maximizethe speed and accuracy of their responses. There was one practice trial. The twotarget items, environmental protection: bad, and resource preservation: good, wereimbedded in the 4th and 8th positions in the list respectively. The subject's responselatency to the attitude items was automatically recorded by the computer -- shorterlatencies represent more accessible attitudes.The questionnaire (see Appendix 2) included two measures of attitudeimportance: (1) subjects were asked to rate on an 11-point scale how important theissue of natural resource conservation was to them and (2) they were asked to rankhow important ten topical social issues (including resource conservation) were tothem (where 1= most important to them and 10 = least important). The other ninesocial issues were: unemployment, AIDS, nuclear arms, poverty, Quebecseparation, women's rights, aboriginal land claims, the crime rate and the economy.The manipulation check asked participants to judge (on a 7-point scale) if thenewspaper article was based largely on ideas that resource conservation benefitssociety-at-large, future generations and the planet as a whole OR was it moreconcerned with how resource conservation benefits each of us personally(1= benefits society-at-large, 4 = both, 7 = benefits each of us)? The questionnairealso asked participants to rate how strong, in their opinion, the arguments presentedin this newspaper article were (11-point scale, where 1= very weak and 11= verystrong).2 0After completing the questionnaire, participants returned to the central areaand completed two tasks designed to measure the extent of their informationprocessing. The first task was a measure of the elaborations made while reading thearticle. Subjects were given 4 minutes to list all the thoughts they had while readingthe newspaper editorial. They were asked to include anything related to the contentor topic of the article, their feelings about and reactions to the article, or anything elsethey might have been thinking about (including totally unrelated things). Subjectswere then asked to rate each of their thoughts as being either in favour of, irrelevantto or opposed to what the author of the article was advocating (see Cacioppo,Harkins, & Petty, 1981). For the second involvement task, subjects were asked tolist all the arguments made in the article they could remember. Accurately recalledarguments provide an index of how extensively the message content was processed(see Cook & Flay, 1978; Craik & Lockhart, 1972; Eagly & Chaiken, 1984). Thememory, elaboration and accessibility measures yielded no reliable results and willnot be discussed further. Subjects were thanked and the experimenter for thesecond study was introduced.Group Decision Making StudyFor the "group decision making" study, participants completed a replenishableresource analogue (similar to that described in Chapman, Hu & Mullen, 1986). Theparticipants were told that the study investigated how individuals in different sizedgroups worked on an interactive computer task. Full instructions about the computertask and the operation of the computers were then given. Participants were told thatthere was a shared pool of resource points (50 per participant) and their goal was toaccumulate as many points as possible over time. On each trial, subjects made theirwithdrawals from the pool by typing a numerical response (between 0 and 9 points)into their computer. The computer subsequently displayed the number of points thathad been consumed by the group and the total points remaining. The total points21had been consumed by the group and the total points remaining. The total pointsremaining were then replenished by 10% (if the replenishment exceeded the initialpool size, the pool was truncated to the initial amount).Subjects were instructed that there were two objectives with the computertask: (1) to harvest as many points as possible for themselves, and (2) to maintainthe resource at a high level to ensure that they could continue to harvest points overtime. During the instructions, subjects were made aware of the parallels between thecomputer task and real-world situations. Two examples were given: one was aresource conservation example and the other was an example about collectiveaction. The collective action example was timely because the university support andtechnical staff were on strike during two weeks of the study. To provide subjectswith sufficient incentive to accumulate points, they were told that one experimentalgroup would be randomly selected at a later date and that each subject in that groupwould receive 10 cents for each point drawn from the pool during the session.Participants were informed that they could continue taking points until the point poolwas exhausted or until the experimenter terminated the task (maximum of 12 trials).Subjects were not aware that the task would end after 12 trials. One practice trialwas given as an example.Although subjects believed that they were working on the computer task withthe other participants, the other group members' responses were fixed by thecomputer at either a cooperative (low cost) response set or a competitive (high cost)response set. The group responses served as the second experimentalmanipulation. The cooperative response set depicted the other group members aswithdrawing an average of 4 points each across the trials. With the cooperativeresponse set, even if participants selected the maximum 9 points on each trial, theresource would only deplete on the 12th (last) trial. The competitive response sethad the other group members taking an average of 7 points each across all the trials.22With the competitive response set, if the participant selected the same number ofpoints as the other group members (7), the pool would have been depleted by the10th trial. The computer randomly added or subtracted 1 or 2 points from the "other"group members total withdrawal so that the other group members' withdrawalsvaried somewhat across trials.The average number of points that people selected per trial served as theprimary measure of conservation behaviour. The pattern of point selection acrosstime was also examined. After completing the computer game, participantscompleted a post-experimental questionnaire that assessed their understanding ofthe computer game and suspicion about the true hypotheses of the study. Subjectswere then fully debriefed about the true purpose of the study.ResultsAfter a description of the reliability for the pretest value and attitude measuresand an examination of the manipulation checks, the results from the dependentvariables will be discussed. First the results for attitude importance and attitudechange are presented, followed by the results for conservation behaviour. Finally,the correlations between attitude importance and behaviour, and pretest attitudepositivity and behaviour are compared.Pretest Value and Attitude ScalesThe alpha reliability coefficient for the pretest attitude positivity scale was .75.The scale mean on the 6 item, 6-point attitude scale was 28.95, with a standarddeviation of 4.89 and a range of 32 (from 14 to 36). The substantial distancebetween the actual mean of the attitude scale (29) and the theoretical mid-point ofthe scale (18) demonstrates that the issue of resource conservation tended to beevaluated quite positively.In the pretest sample (N = 564), the two subscales from the Goal Survey --personal values (M = 33.83, St) = 5.00) and social values (M = 27.56;SII= 6.23) --2 3demonstrated adequate reliability (alpha = .77 and .82 respectively). The subscaleswere moderately correlated with each other (r = .24; p< .01).The personal values subscale was not correlated with the pretest attitudemeasure (r = -.06). However, the social values subscale was moderately related topretest attitudes (r = .18; p< .01). Because of this correlation, participants wereselected from each of the value-orientations under the constraint that the twoexperimental groups were equal with respect to pretest attitude positivity.Eligible participants scored in the top half of the distribution of one subscaleand the bottom half of the other subscale. Using this criteria, in the pretest sample(N = 546) there were 94 eligible participants with high personal value scores and 104with high social value scores. It is important to note, however, that because of thehigher mean rating of personal-value subscale over the social-value subscale somepeople meeting the criteria of the social-value group actually had higher personalvalue scores than social value scores. Using the top and bottom thirds of thedistributions would have eliminated this problem, but too few people met the socialvalue conditions using the more stringent criteria.Discriminant and convergent validity for the two subscales weredemonstrated by their differential correlations with eight values from the RokeachValue Survey (see Table 1).Insert Table 1 about hereThe personal value subscale, for example, correlated positively with the value item "acomfortable life" and negatively with the item "helpful". In contrast, the social valuesubscale correlated negatively with "a comfortable life" and positively with "helpful".24Manipulation ChecksBefore examining the results of the message manipulation on the dependentvariables of interest, the effectiveness of the message at conveying the differentoutcomes (personal versus societal) of resource conservation was tested. Thedifference between the two messages in conveying personal versus societaloutcomes of resource conservation (where 1= benefits society-at-large , 4 = benefitsboth, and 7= benefits each of us personally) was in the appropriate direction, butwas only marginally significant, 1(82)= 1.80, p= .075. The mean was 2.55 for thepersonal-outcome message and 2.05 for the societal-outcome message. This resultindicates that the messages did not clearly convey the difference between societaland personal outcomes of resource conservation. Further, the means indicated thatthe participants viewed both messages as largely focused on societal outcomes.The messages were not perceived as differing in argument strength (t < 1) andthey were generally viewed as containing strong arguments for resourceconservation (personal-outcome message M = 7.9 and societal-outcome messageM =8.1, on the 11-point scale, where 1= very weak and 11= very strong).Attitude Importance and Attitude Change There were two measures of attitude importance. The single item (11-point)rating measure of attitude importance had an overall mean of 8.9 (SD = 1.5). Theranking measure of attitude importance had a mean of 4.226 (SD= 2.23), wheresmaller numbers indicated a higher ranking of importance. The correlation betweenthe two measures of attitude importance was r = -.44, p< .01. The correlationbetween pretest attitude positivity and the ranking measure of attitude importancewas r = -.42, p < .001 and with the rating measure of importance was r = .39, p< .001.Attitude change was assessed as the difference between the Time 1 and Time2 attitude scores (M = .06, SD =4.25, range -12 to 12), where larger numbersindicated greater attitude change in the direction of conservation. The attitude25change measure was not significantly correlated with either of the attitudeimportance measures (r = .08 with the rating measure, r = -.01 with the rankingmeasure).To test for the impact of receiving a message that linked resourceconservation to an important value versus a less important value on attitudeimportance and attitude change, the dependent variables were entered in a 2message-type (personal-outcome/societal-outcome) X 2 value-orientation(personal/social) analysis of variance (ANOVA). Message-type was predicted tointeract with value-orientation such that a match between message and orientationwould produce higher ratings of attitude importance than a mismatch.No significant interactions were obtained for either measure of importance (allFs < 1). With respect to the attitude change scores, a main effect for value-orientation was found: the social-value oriented subjects were more persuaded bythe messages (M =1.02) than the personal-value oriented people (M = 0.86),F(1,79)=4.297, p< .05. This main effect, however, is qualified by a marginallysignificant interaction between message-type and self-value orientation,F(1,79)=2.143, p = .147. This interaction indicated that social-value oriented peoplewho received the societal-outcome message demonstrated positive attitude changewhile all other groups showed a decrease in attitude scores (see Table 2 for cellmeans and figure 1 for a graph of the means).Insert Table 2 about hereInsert Figure 1 about here2 6Follow-up contrasts revealed that the social-value oriented subjects whoreceived the societal outcomes message demonstrated significantly more positiveattitude change than the social-value oriented subjects who received the personaloutcome message, F(1,39)= 4.93, p< .05. No significant difference was foundbetween the personal-value oriented groups, F < 1. This interaction demonstratedthat for social-value oriented subjects a message that linked resource conservationto their more important value was more persuasive than a message that linkedresource conservation to their less important value.Given the absence of any effects for message-type or value-orientation onattitude importance, the pretest measure of attitude positivity was included in theanalyses to investigate whether people entering the study with less positive pretestattitudes were more susceptible to the manipulation than people entering theexperiment with more positive attitudes. For these analyses a dichotomous pretestattitude variable was created by a median split on the pretest attitude score and theattitude importance variables were entered in a 2 message-type (personal-outcome/societal-outcome) X 2 value-orientation (personal/social) ANOVA.The predicted interactions between value-orientation and message-type werenot obtained for subjects with either more positive or less positive pretest attitudes.The only significant results found were two main effects for pretest attitude positivityon the attitude importance measures. Subjects with more positive pretest attitudesrated resource conservation higher (M = 9.45) than subjects with less positive pretestattitudes (M =8.34), F(1,76)= 12.26, p< .01. Similarly, subjects with more positivepretest attitudes ranked resource conservation higher (M = 3.55) than subjects withless positive pretest attitudes (M = 4.84), F(1,75)=7.50, p < .01.Conservation BehaviourTwo measures of conservation behaviour were calculated. The first measurewas simply the average number of points harvested across trials (average27behaviour). The second measure was a break down of the 12 trials into fourquartiles with the average number of points per person per quartile computed foreach subject. The four time periods served as a within subject variable showingconsumption of the resource over time. In all cases, smaller numbers indicategreater conserving behaviour.Five subjects did not complete the behaviour measure: three did not fullyunderstand the game, one guessed that the computer responses were rigged, andone participant had to leave the study early. Because groups of equal sizes were notobtained for this study, the effect on average behaviour of having groups of differingsizes play the computer game was tested with a one-way ANOVA. In this study,there were 7-groups of three, 4-groups of four, 4-groups of five, and 5-groups of sixin the study. Average conservation behaviour did not differ as a result of group size.The effect of the computer manipulation on behaviour was also examined. Itwas found that subjects conserved significantly more when playing the competitive(high cost) game, than when playing the cooperative (low cost) game, t(77)=2.44,p < .05. This result was surprising because competitive behaviour typically elicitscompetitive behaviour (Rosenbaum, 1980). Cost was thus included in thesubsequent analyses of behaviour to control for the effects of the different computerresponse sets.Average behaviour was entered in a 2, message-type (personal-outcome/societal-outcome) X 2, value-orientation (personal/social) X 2, pretestattitude (more positive/less positive) X 2, computer program (high cost/low cost)ANOVA. The predicted interaction between message-type, value-orientation andcost was not obtained, however, a highly significant 3-way interaction betweenmessage-type, pretest attitude and cost, F(1,63)= 7.0, p< .01 was found. Toelucidate the form of the interaction, follow-up contrasts were performed. With thehigh cost (competitive) game, a reliable main effect demonstrated that people with28more positive pretest attitudes were significantly more likely than people with lesspositive pretest attitudes to conserve the resource, F(1,37)=7.65, p < .01 (see Table3 for means).Insert Table 3 about hereWith the cooperative (low cost) game, on the other hand, the impact of pretestattitudes on behaviour depended on the message that people received. A significantdisordinal interaction between pretest attitudes and message-type revealed thatparticipants with more positive pretest attitudes who received the societal-outcomemessage and participants with less positive pretest attitudes who received thepersonal-outcome message were more likely to conserve the resource thanparticipants with strong pretest attitudes who received the personal-outcomemessage and participants with weak pretest attitudes who received the societal-outcome message, F(1,36) = 5.90, p< .05, (see Figure 1).Insert Figure 2 about hereNo significant main or interaction effects were obtained when the sameindependent variables were included in a repeated-measures ANOVA using thewithin subject time series behaviour measure.Correlations between attitudes and behaviourThe above interaction between pretest attitude positivity, message-type andcost condition on conservation behaviour can also be examined in terms of thecorrelations between pretest attitudes and behaviour. The overall correlationbetween pretest attitude and behaviour was r = -.17, p= .06, were more positiveattitudes were associated with more conservation. When the data were subdivided29by cost conditions, there was no correlation between attitudes and behaviour for thelow cost (cooperative) game condition. However, for the high cost (competitive)condition a significant correlation between attitudes and behaviour was obtained(r = -.39, p< .01). When the sample was further subdivided by message type it wasfound that when the cost for engaging in the behaviour was high, attitudes correlatedstrongly with behaviour only when participants received the personal-outcomemessage (see Table 4 for these correlations between both pretest attitudes andbehaviour and attitude importance and behaviour).Insert Table 4 about hereWhen the cost for engaging in behaviour was low and subjects read thesocietal-outcome message, a moderate relation between attitudes and behaviourresulted. The relation between attitudes and behaviour was reversed, however,when people read the personal-outcome message -- positivity of attitudes wasnegatively related to behaviour.The importance of an attitude was hypothesized to be a better predictor ofbehaviour than positivity. There were, however, no reliable correlations between theattitude importance measures and behaviour, even when the correlations wereexamined within each cost condition.DiscussionThis study examined whether experimentally linking an attitude object(resource conservation) to the self-concept would increase the importance of theattitude and attitude-relevant behaviour. In general, the hypotheses were notconfirmed. Linking resource conservation to a more central value in the self-conceptas compared to a less central value did not produce more important attitudes, moreconservation behaviour, or greater attitude = behaviour consistency.3 0There are a number of possible methodological explanations for the absenceof the predicted effects. The first problem arose when trying to select people whowere strongly committed to social values above personal values. Most subjects whocompleted the pretest Goal Survey scored personal values higher than social values.As a result, most of the subjects selected for the social-value orientation group had,on average, equal commitment to social and personal values. The personal-valueoriented group, on the other hand, tended to be much more committed to personalvalues over social values. Thus, for the social value-oriented group the manipulationof a strong or weak link to the self-concept was not achieved. For this group, bothmessages linked the issue to important values the self-concept, while for thepersonal-value oriented subjects only the personal-outcome message linked theissue to the self-concept. Given the difficulty in measuring the importance of valuesin the self-concept, a better control group than subjects who received a messagerelated to a less central aspect of the self-concept would have been a group whoreceived information about a different issue or no message at all.A second possible confound in the experiment was the inclusion of subjectswho already held important attitudes about resource conservation. Subjectsselected for the study were randomly assigned to either the strong or weak self-linked condition. Subjects who, prior to this study, held important attitudes and whothen received a message that linked resource conservation to a value they did notview as important (the weak self-linked condition) most likely continued to view theissue as personally important and would behave in a manner consistent with theirpre-experimental attitudes. A characteristic of important attitudes is that they areenduring (Krosnick, 1988a).The measurement of importance poses a third problem for research onattitudes toward global environmental issues. The most common instrumentmeasuring attitude importance is a single item question that asked subjects directly31"how important is [the issue] to you personally". The average score on the 11-pointimportance item used in this study was 8.9 with a standard deviation of only 1.5. Theitem statistics demonstrate that there was little variability in the ratings and the ratingswere generally clumped at the high importance end of the scale. Responses to theattitude importance item may have been influenced by social desirability: very fewpeople argue in favour of depleting the Ozone layer or polluting the atmosphere.Also, reading a message that details the serious outcomes of resource depletion foreither one's self or society-at-large and then shortly thereafter being asked to rate thepersonal importance of resource conservation may have elicited high ratings ofimportance for all subjects.The priority ranking measure of attitude importance had a less severe problemwith variability and skew. This measurement instrument, however, presented its ownunique problem in assessing importance. With this measure, subjects were asked torate resource conservation relative to other topical social issues. The placement ofresource conservation into a context of other serious social issues was thought todecrease the incidence of socially desirable responding because other equallydesirable social issues could be put before resource conservation. However, themeasure may not have assessed the relative importance of resource conservation inthe same manner for both personal and social value-oriented subjects. For subjectswith a social-value orientation it may have been that other social issues wererelatively more important to them than they were to personal-value oriented subjects.As a result, social value-oriented people may have ranked resource conservationlower in importance than they would have if the list had contained self-interest orpersonal issues. Clearly, more valid measures of attitude importance need to bedeveloped.To decrease the social desirability and the salience of the attitude issue underinvestigation, it would have been preferable to administer the importance measure at3 2a later date and in a different context from the manipulation. In addition, a moresensitive measure of the impact of the self-link manipulation on subjects' judgementsof importance would be to measure attitude importance before and after themanipulation and use change in importance as the dependent measure. Thedevelopment of better measures of attitude importance, including less obvious ordirect measures (see Greenwald, 1989, for a discussion of implicit attitudemeasures), would enhance research in this area.The final methodological problem noted here was with the experimentalmessages. The experimental messages were designed to link resourceconservation to important values in the self-concept. To do this, one messagedescribed the personal-outcomes or impacts of resource depletion, the otherdescribed the societal-outcomes. When subjects were asked whether the articlethey read was based largely on ideas that resource conservation benefits society-at-large or benefits each of us personally, judgements made by the subjects who readthe personal-outcome message did not differ significantly from those made bysubjects who read the societal-outcome message. Both messages were rated asprimarily describing societal outcomes. Thus, there were a number ofmethodological problems in this study that may have contributed to absence ofsignificant experimental effects.Although the primary hypotheses of this study were not supported, aninteresting interaction was found between attitude positivity, message-type and coston conservation behaviour. Under conditions where group members were rapidlyover-using and depleting the shared resource (the competitive computer game),individuals with more positive attitudes toward resource conservation weresignificantly more likely to conserve than people with less positive attitudes.On the other hand, under conditions where the other group members arecooperating in order to preserve the resource, attitudes toward resource3 3conservation were less important in predicting conserving behaviour. Further, in thecooperative situation, any impact that attitude positivity had on behaviour wasdependent on the message that people received: Participants with more positivepretest attitudes were most likely to conserve if they had received informationdescribing the societal-outcomes of conservation while participants with less positivepretest attitudes were more likely to conserve if they had received informationdescribing the personal-benefits of conservation.Thus, in situations that model the commons dilemma (i.e., high cost), bothpositive attitudes and awareness of the potential personal-outcomes of conservationare needed to motivate people to conserve a shared resource. When conservationbehaviour is relatively cost-free, however, conservation is less clearly influenced bypositive attitudes or one particular message.These results were also examined in terms of attitude-behaviourcorrespondence and the moderating roles of self-interest and costs. The costs forengaging in conservation were found to moderate the attitude-behaviour relationsuch that under conditions of low costs (the cooperative game) attitudes did notpredict behaviour. However, when conservation behaviour was more costly (thecompetitive game) a moderately strong correlation was found between attitudes andbehaviour.Within the high cost condition, self-interest further moderated the relationbetween attitudes and behaviour. A very strong correlation was found for subjectswho received the message detailing the personal-outcomes of resourceconservation, but no correlation was observed for participants who received themessage describing the societal-outcomes of resource conservation. In this study,attitude-behaviour correspondence was strongest when behaviour was costly andparticipants received the self-interest message.3 4The moderating role found for self-interest replicates the findings of Sivacekand Crano (1982). Sivacek and Crano argued that attitude-behaviourcorrespondence will be maximized when the behaviour suggested by a specificattitude have clear personal relevance. However, from the results obtained in thisstudy, a qualification should be added to their vested interest hypothesis. A strongcorrespondence between attitudes and behaviour was only obtained with the self-interest message when it was costly to engage in conservation behaviour. Theattitudes of subjects assigned to the cooperative condition who read the self-interestmessage were actually negatively correlated with behaviour.This finding suggests that if a behaviour is costly to undertake people willneed some incentive or justification to incur the costs of acting. Self-interest andstrong positive attitudes together provide both incentive and justification: a positiveattitude toward the issue provides an internal rational for the necessity of action andawareness of the personal outcomes serves as an incentive for carrying out thebehaviour. On the other hand, when behaviour is not costly people will not require astrong rational for engaging in the behaviour, especially if acting is in their self-interest.This study was originally inspired by the broad question presented by thecommons dilemma: can people be motivated to conserve shared natural resourcesout of a concern for collective or societal interest or are we only motivated by self-interest? The results from this study suggest that it is unlikely that people will bemotivated solely out of a concern for the impact of resource depletion on society. Tothe extent that conservation efforts require people to sacrifice personally or incurpersonal costs (e.g., give up convenience, comfort, money), people need to bemade aware of the personal-outcomes of conservation. When behaviour is costly,however, self-interest on its own does not produce conservation; people must alsohold positive attitudes toward the issue.3 5In the original description of the commons dilemma, self-interest was viewedvery narrowly as economic or material wealth. In this study, the personal-outcomemessage did not describe personal-outcomes as direct and immediate financial ormaterial rewards. Rather, the self-interest message described the increasingincidence of health problems in southern Canada due to Ozone depletion, closure oflocal beaches due to fecal contamination, and possible decreases in economicopportunities and resources for this generation. These are not wholly personal-outcomes, they apply to all people living in the community. 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An examination of the "other variable" explanation of attitude-behavior inconsistency. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 19, 18-30.40Table 1Correlations Between Goal Survey Subscales and Relevant Value Items from theRokeach Value SurveyPersonal-ValueSubscalesSocial-ValueSubscalesA comfortable life (Aprosperous life).29* -.19*Pleasure (An enjoyable,leisurely life).06 -.27*Ambitious .29* -.04Broadminded -.03 .16*Helpful (Working forother's welfare)-.17* .20*Equality -.10 .25*A world at peace -.03 .26**p < .01 (two-tailed)Table 2Mean Attitude Change by Message-Type and Value-OrientationMessage-Type:Personal-Outcomes^Societal-OutcomesValue-Orientation:Personal -0.67 -1.05(N=21) (N=21)Social -0.10 2.20(N=21) (N=20)4142Table 3Mean Conservation Behaviour by Positivity of Pretest Attitudes. Message-Type andCostHigh Cost (Competitive Computer Game)Message-Type:Personal-Outcomes^Societal-OutcomesPretestAttitude:Less Positive 4.69 4.24(N= 9) (N= 10)More Positive 2.95 3.59(N= 11) (N = 9)Low Cost (Cooperative Computer Game)Message-Type:Personal-Outcomes^Societal-OutcomesPretestAttitude:Less Positive 4.26 5.45(N= 14) (N= 8)More Positive 5.69 4.23(N= 7) (N= 11)43Table 4Correlations Between Attitude Measures and Behaviour by Cost Condition andMessage-Type Low Cost (Cooperative Computer Game)AttitudeMeasures:Message-Type:Personal-Outcomes^Societal-OutcomesPositivity .25 .30(Pretest) (N = 21) (N =19)Importance .02 -.19(rating scale) (N = 21) (N =19)Importance -.13 .30(ranking scale) (N = 21) (N =19)High Cost (Competitive Computer Game)AttitudeMeasures:Message-Type:Personal-Outcomes^Societal-OutcomesPositivity -.73* -.13(Pretest) (N =19) (N =20)Importance .-.25 .31(rating scale) (N =19) (N = 20)Importance .16 .20(ranking scale) (N =19) (N = 20)*p< .01 (two-tailed)Note. Smaller numbers for conservation behaviour indicate more conservation.Similarly, smaller numbers on the importance ranking measure indicate higherimportance. A positive correlation between the ranking measure of attitudeimportance and behaviour thus indicates that greater importance is associated withmore conservation.2-1-2344Social77'.77+,-•^.7PersonalPersonal outcomes^Societal outcomesMessage-TypeFigure 1.^Attitude change as a function of message-type (personal-outcomeversus societal-outcome) and value-orientation (social versus personal).0(c11)a0)0C.)Low Cost45a02OC 305-16Personal:outcome^Societal-outcomeMessage-TypePersonal:outcome^Societal-outcomeMessage-TypeFigure 2.^Average conservation behaviour as a function of pretest attitudepositivity, message-type and computer cost condition (high cost versus low cost).46Appendix 1NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL[Personal-outcome Message]Every reference to the environment seems to be prefaced with the adjective'fragile'. Nothing could be further from the truth. The environment, in fact, isdamned near indestructible. The world before our time survived suffocating ice agesand cataclysmic collisions of meteors bearing far more force than our nucleararsenals. Human assaults are pinpricks compared with forces of the magnitudenature is accustomed to resisting.One aspect of the environment, however, is genuinely delicate. Namely, theset of conditions favourable to human beings. If we sour the environmentalconditions now slanted in our favour as a species, creatures that thrive on murkygreenhouse air or compounds toxic to humans, will rise up in our stead. Theenvironment is not in danger from human activities: the threat is that we will sour theconditions that support our own lives.TOXIC WASTE:Skyrocketing consumption is the hallmark of our era. Some of the by-products of our conspicuous consumption are toxic wastes. There is no easyanswer to the question of how we dispose of our toxic leftovers.In Vancouver, the Expo site is covered with contaminated soil from pastindustrial activity. Future development of the land is now forcing Vancouverresidents to pay for industries' toxic legacy. The lack of adequate toxic wastedisposal facilities in B.C. has resulted in the storage of harmful chemical such as thecarcinogenic PCBs in places all over the city including several schools. Gasesproduced from an old and forgotten landfill site in Burnaby are currently seeping intothe basements of neighbouring houses.DEFORESTATION:The rapid destruction of forests in many parts of the world has had numerousdetrimental effects. Floods, soil erosion, land slides, desertification, loss of animaland plant species are direct consequences of global deforestation. In the last 100years, one half of the world's four billion acres of rain forest has been destroyed.The rain forest is a medicine chest of unlimited potential. In today'spharmaceutical market, 15 of the 125 drugs derived from plants were discovered inthe rain forest. Deforestation threatens to cut off this valuable resource beforescientists have a chance to research possible medicines.SPECIES EXTINCTION:Many animal and plant species around the world are threatened withextinction due to human activities. Already extinct in Canada are the DawsonCaribou, the Sea Mink, the Passenger Pigeon and the Great Auk to name a few.Canada now has 211 endangered species. With the loss of species we lose thewealth of life on earth -- the world's biological diversity.Wild plants and animals are a rich resource for current human needs. Theyform the fabric of nature on which we currently rely for medicine, food, fuel, shelter,clothing and recreation.47GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE:Greenhouse heating of the planet is being caused by many human activitiessuch as our use of fossil fuels (which release carbon dioxide) burned for heat orpower and our farming of cattle (which produce methane). Warming is alreadyunder way and the agricultural and ecological consequences over the next decadeswill be totally unprecedented and unpredictable. Canada is a major contributor toglobal warming.Within the next 50 years, scientists say the world's sea level will likely increaseone meter due to the greenhouse effect. This would send waves crashing over thedikes protecting low-lying communities such as Richmond. In addition to Richmond,areas susceptible to flooding include portions of the Lower Fraser Valley, parts ofNew Westminster, Surrey, Delta, Pitt Meadows, Mission, Port Alberni, Victoria andDuncan.OZONE:The depletion of the ozone layer is of growing concern in Canada and aroundthe world. Located between 20 and 50 km above the earth's surface, the ozonelayer screens out around 99% of the potentially deadly ultraviolet radiation (UV) in theincoming sunshine. The depletion of the ozone layer is due to the accumulation ofhigh concentrations of synthetic chemicals (CFCs) in the upper atmosphere. CFCsare used in refrigerators, in air-conditioners, in dry-cleaning solvents, in foam plasticand as propellants in aerosols.It is now known that the ozone layer above southern Canada is dramaticallydepleted. Thinning of the layer means Canadians will be subjected to more radiation,which is expected to increase rates of skin cancer and cataracts, accelerate physicalaging, and weaken the immune system. During the past 15 years the incidence ofmelanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, has increased more than 100 percent.Higher levels of UV radiation will demand changes in people's lifestyle.People will no longer be able to enjoy the sun to the extent that they do now. Inaddition, people will have to take added precautions when out in the sun (e.g., highlevel sun screens, hats, high quality sun glasses).WATER POLLUTION:Water pollution is a growing concern worldwide. In Canada, human sewage,which is dumped untreated into waterways from almost 40 per cent of Canadianmunicipalities, and industrial effluent are the biggest culprits. The Great Lakes are acompelling example of how we have polluted our waters.For years, residents of Toronto have been unable to swim at its beaches in thesummertime because the level of fecal bacteria is so high. Similarly, in Vancouverthe beaches have been closed because of contamination from human waste. Theseclosures can only be expected to increase unless dramatic changes are made by theGreater Vancouver Regional District.A healthy economy requires a healthy environment. If the environment iscollapsing, if our drinking water is being contaminated, our farmland turning todesert, our coastal cities inundated by rising oceans, then our economy will be indeep trouble too and we will probably all be out of work. We have acted for so longwithout regard to the future that the planet is close to major environmental change,48change so significant that the earth may soon become inhospitable to many speciesincluding human beings.Our species is thought to be unique in our ability to think, create and anticipatea future. We are in command of our own future on this planet and whether wesucceed or fail, the decisions and responsibility will have been ours. The worldhowever cannot be changed by one person, it will take the cooperation of us all.NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL[Societal-outcome Message]Why are humans so intent on plundering the earth's resources? In the middleof the 20th century, we saw our planet from space for the first time. From space, wesee a small and fragile ball dominated not by human activity but by a pattern ofclouds, oceans, greenery, and soils. In the three-and-a-half-billion-year history of lifeon this planet, organisms have co-evolved as parts of a complex biologicalcommunity. Each species in this community is unique and embodies the long andtortuous history. The appearance of Homosapiens has changed the balance withinthis community.For most of our existence, nature was able to absorb the impact of humanactivities. Within this century, however, we have achieved numbers andtechnological power that have had an unprecedented effect on the planet. We arechanging planetary environmental systems, fundamentally and many of thesechanges are accompanied by life-threatening hazards.TOXIC WASTE:Skyrocketing consumption is the hallmark of our era. Some of the by-products of our conspicuous consumption are toxic wastes. There is no easyanswer to the question of how we dispose of our toxic leftovers.Currently millions of tonnes of our toxic industrial wastes, including radioactivewaste, are being sent to developing countries for disposal. It costs between $2.50and $40 a tonne to get rid of toxic waste in the developing world, compared tobetween $75 and $3,000 a tonne to get rid of tonne in the rich nations. Countriesare being offered hospitals, roads and medicine in exchange for taking waste theyaren't equipped to handle. A firm in Zimbabwe having bought some chemical wastehad to dump the entire load in an abandoned mining shaft for lack of a better facility.Wastes go into holes dug by convicts, city garbage dumps and mountain gorges. Itisn't right that developing nations are forced to chose between "poison and poverty".DEFORESTATION:The rapid destruction of forests in many parts of the world has had numerousdetrimental effects. Floods, soil erosion, land slides, desertification, loss of animaland plant species are direct consequences of global deforestation. In the last 100years, one half of the world's four billion acres of rain forest has been destroyed.Many of the world's remaining indigenous peoples live in undisturbed rainforests. The destruction of rain forests threatens the existence of these peoples.Entire tribes of indigenous people have been disappearing at the rate of one a yearsince the turn of the century.49SPECIES EXTINCTION:Many animal and plant species around the world are threatened withextinction due to habitat destruction. Already extinct in Canada are the DawsonCaribou, the Sea Mink, the Passenger Pigeon and the Great Auk to name a few.Canada now has 211 endangered species. With the loss of species we lose thewealth of life on earth -- the world's biological diversity.The loss of habitat due to current human activities such as logging, urbandevelopment, mining, agriculture and hydro-electric projects is the primary reasonfor species extinction. Every time a wild plant or animal goes extinct, we forfeit ourfuture generations opportunity to explore new options for food and medicine.GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE:Greenhouse heating of the planet is being caused by many human activitiessuch as our use of fossil fuels (which release carbon dioxide) burned for heat orpower and our farming of cattle (which produce methane). Warming is alreadyunder way and the agricultural and ecological consequences over the next decadeswill be totally unprecedented and unpredictable. Canada is a major contributor toglobal warming.Increases in the severity and frequency of catastrophic storms have beenpredicted as a result of global warming. Monsoons and floods in the heavilypopulated areas of Asia, India and Indonesia will result in tragic loss of human life.OZONE:The depletion of the ozone layer is of growing concern in Canada and aroundthe world. Located between 20 and 50 km above the earth's surface, the ozonelayer screens out around 99% of the potentially deadly ultraviolet radiation (UV) in theincoming sunshine. The depletion of the ozone layer is due to the accumulation ofhigh concentrations of synthetic chemicals (CFCs) in the upper atmosphere. CFCsare used in refrigerators, in air-conditioners, in dry-cleaning solvents, in foam plasticand as propellants in aerosols.UV radiation threatens ocean food chains, because many plankton speciesare highly sensitive to it. Plankton are the essential food source for many fish and arealso important in oxygen production. In addition, plant productivity is expected todecrease worldwide with the increase in UV radiation. This disruption in productivitywould lead to widespread crop failure and starvation.WATER POLLUTION:Water pollution is a growing concern worldwide. In Canada, human sewage,which is dumped untreated into waterways from almost 40 per cent of Canadianmunicipalities, and industrial effluent are the biggest culprits.We need no better barometer for the state of our rivers, lakes, and oceansthan the health of the creatures that live in them. In the high Arctic PCBs and otherpersistent toxins are detectable in the fat tissue of sea mammals. In the St. LawrenceRiver, the survival of the beluga whale population is at stake because of massivepollution. In northern Quebec, where the James Bay project has wrought massiveenvironmental change, mercury, a sadly familiar pollutant in Canada, is poisoningnative fishing grounds.50The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of our access to knowledgeand technology that could destroy the planet. With this knowledge we are over-exploiting the resources of the planet and are using up the reserves belonging tofuture generations. Falling prey to our thoughtless and boundless consumption arenumerous animal species, indigenous peoples and cultures, and people living indeveloping nations. We are carrying on without regard for the consequences of ouractions.Our species is thought to be unique in our ability to think, create and anticipatea future. We are in command of our own future on this planet and whether wesucceed or fail, the decisions and responsibility will have been ours. The worldhowever cannot be changed by one person, it will take the cooperation of us all.51Appendix 2Manipulation ChecksWas the article based largely on ideas that resource conservation benefits society-at-large, future generations, and the plant as a whole OR was it more concerned withhow resource conservation benefits each of us personally?1^2^3^4^5^6^7BENEFITS BOTH BENEFITSSOCIETY- EACH OF USAT-LARGEIn your opinion, how strong were the arguments presented in the newspaper article.1^2^3^4^5^6^7Very Weak Very StrongAttitude Importance Measures. How important is the issue of natural resource conservation to you? (rating measure)1^2^3^4^5^6^7^8^9^10^11NOT AT ALL EXTREMELYIMPORTANT IMPORTANTPlease rank the following issues from '1' (the most important issue to you) to '10'(the least important to you). Please use each number only once (that is, do notassign the same number twice). (ranking measure)UNEMPLOYMENT  ^QUEBEC SEPARATIONAIDS^ WOMEN'S RIGHTS (EQUALITY)THE ECONOMY  ^ABORIGINAL LAND CLAIMSNUCLEAR ARMS  ^RESOURCE CONSERVATIONPOVERTY^ THE CRIME RATE52Pretest attitude positivity measure. Please rate the extent to which you agree with the following statements? (circle thenumber that best represents your point of view)1^2^3^4^5^6Strongly StronglyDisagree Agree1. "It is more important for human life to progress than it is to protect animal for plantlife."2. "The resources of the earth exist for the use of humankind".3. "Environmental protection must not stand in the way of providing economicopportunity for everyone."4. "The earth will always be able to provide the resources necessary for the humanrace to survive."5. "Human behaviour needs to become more sensitive to the environment if thehuman race is to survive."6. "The extinction of animal and plant species is acceptable as long as alternativeresources exist."


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