Consumers' Environmental Concern Values: Understanding the Structure of Contemporary Green Worldviews

ABSTRACT - The influential role of personal and social values in consumer behaviour has received an increasing amount of attention from the social sciences. Green or environmental concern values are exemplary of this interest with many studies being undertaken into green values as they relate to 'specific' consumer behaviours. However, only recently has attention been addressed to the production of a common definition of environmental concern values.



Citation:

Paul M.W Hackett (1993) ,"Consumers' Environmental Concern Values: Understanding the Structure of Contemporary Green Worldviews", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, eds. W. Fred Van Raaij and Gary J. Bamossy, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 416-427.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1, 1993      Pages 416-427

CONSUMERS' ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES: UNDERSTANDING THE STRUCTURE OF CONTEMPORARY GREEN WORLDVIEWS

Paul M.W Hackett, University of Birmingham, England

ABSTRACT -

The influential role of personal and social values in consumer behaviour has received an increasing amount of attention from the social sciences. Green or environmental concern values are exemplary of this interest with many studies being undertaken into green values as they relate to 'specific' consumer behaviours. However, only recently has attention been addressed to the production of a common definition of environmental concern values.

Based upon the results of empirical studies a common structural model for environmental concern values and attitudes will be proposed. The model will be posited as an appropriate tool which may be used to broaden understanding of these social concerns. This will be in a manner which enables the consumer researcher to investigate this area and its effect upon consumer behaviour in a consistent manner between different studies.

INTRODUCTION

Since the second world war and post war austerity years environmental concern, and what has come to be known as green social values, has developed within western society and have become an area of research for the social sciences. Much of this research has been undertaken with the express intention of attempting to understand and thus to influence personal and social behaviour in a pro-ecological direction. In attempting to achieve these ends researchers have viewed pro-ecological and conservational attitudes and behaviours (eg., Maloney., etal, 1975) and the conceptual and empirical linkages between these (eg., Hackett, 1989, 1992., Van Dam, 1991) and have asked 'who are the environmentally concerned amongst us ?'. In forwarding answers to the above question socio-economic correlates have been identified of pro-ecological behaviour (eg., Dunlap,.& Van Liere, 1978).

In attempting to delineate environmental concern (or green) values and the environmentally concerned (or green) person relatively few studies have reported the theoretical and empirical basis for the inclusion of research items within a research set, or have included relatively few components of the entire 'green' semantic domain (see note 1.). Thus the domain of green values and attitudes has as yet to be clearly defined.

Environmental concern research represents the basis from which an interested researcher may attempt to either extract or adapt a measuring instrument for their own particular area of research interest. However, much of the literature has been piecemeal in nature addressing specific environmental or green concerns and not positing a general structural model for the attitudinal or value area. Furthermore, different personal responses to these issues have often been amalgamated into a single measure and as a consequence the distinction between green and environmental 'attitudes', 'values' and 'behaviours' has remain unclear.

Existing research into the social value of environmental concern will be outlined along with approaches to the social psychological study of values in general. Facet analytic approaches to scale construction will be considered (and employed) for the design of research. Facet theory will be advanced as a framework for both the general investigation of multi-variate social values and social values associated with a concern for the quality of the natural environment.

SOCIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CONCERN FOR THE QUALITY OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

As already noted there has been a steady increase in the level of concern for the quality of both human life and the natural environment which supports it (Barker, 1986). Moreover, it has been documented in both the popular and academic press that the consumer (eg., Adams, 1990., Elkington & Hales., 1988) and industry and the public sector (eg., Hackett, 1991., Spencer, etal, in press) have made moves to green its activities and image.

Major changes are occurring in the world's environment, at all physical scales, and in all geographical regions: At the global and international environmental scales (Wilson 1984) and more locally within Britain (Blunden & Curry 1985a&b). Accompanying these changes, sustained public concern for the quality of the natural environment has developed (Jowell, etal, 1987). In a survey conducted in 1983, Jowell and his associates (1984) found that across a number of different environmental issues, an average of 76% of their sample of the British population regarded waste in the environment to be a serious or very serious issue. By 1986, this proportion had risen slightly to 80%. This concern about the seriousness of environmental pollution and wastes are reflected in concern regarding changes in the British environment. Here the same authors found in 1985 that 68% of respondents expressed some degree of concern over countryside changes, whilst in 1986 this proportion had grown to 75%.

Accompanying this growth in interest in environmental matters and concern about changes in the countryside, there has been an increase in the number of groups or organisations working in environmental protection related areas (see, Barker 1986).

The environmental movement has also had an effect upon the consumer in general. This it has achieved through requesting the purchaser to buy only products which have no deleterious effects upon the environment at the stage of their production, consumption, or when disposing of their waste by-products (eg, Button 1988). This has also been accompanied by academic research interest in marketing and commercial aspects of green consumerism (eg., McDonagh & Prothero, 1991., Van Dam., 1991., Wright & Simms, 1991).

A steady stream of research reports which have taken the social aspects of environmental conservation and environmental usage as their subject matter have emerged over the preceding decade (eg, Miller & Tranter 1988). However, social scientists in general, and psychologists in particular, have been slow to become involved in this area of research. This is in spite of this lack of involvement being noted in the literature and there having been calls on several occasions for a greater level of psychological interest (eg, Fairweather, 1972, Lounsbury & Tornatzky, 1977.).

SOCIAL SCIENCE'S VIEW OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN AND GREEN VALUES

Research into environmental concern was initially solely concerned with documenting the widespread existence of such concern. Much of this early research also provided information about the social basis of environmental concern (Dunlap and Van Liere, 1978). In doing this, environmental concern literature viewed environmental concern as a general environmental attitude (eg; Craik and McKechnie, 1977. Iwata, 1977. Ray, 1975). In conducting research into environmental concern social scientists have attempted to answer the question "what types of people are most concerned about the environment", or "what typifies the environmentally concerned person"? Investigations have therefore viewed the extent to which environmentally concerned individuals share patterns of ideological and demographic characteristics (Cotgrove, 1982).

As a consequence of adopting such a line of enquiry, these studies have most commonly produced investigations which measured features of environmental concern such as environmental; knowledge, beliefs, emotion, and behaviour. These were then related to a host of socio-demographic variables such as; age, gender, education level, occupation etc. A series of different measures and indicators of environmental concern have been used. The measures used have included reported levels of support for environmental protection actions (de Haven-Smith, 1988), concern for the quality of the natural environment (Maloney et al., 1975), support for and participation in environmental protection actions (Kronus and Van Es, 1976), membership of and active participation in environmental groups (Manzo and Weinstien, 1987) etc.

More recently, research has attempted to produce complex models of environmental concern values. The development of these elaborate models is a trend evident in the contemporary literature. Van Liere and Dunlap (1981) reviewed the environmental concern literature, and, on the basis of this, developed a multi-variate model. They concluded that concern for the quality of the natural environment was not a simple uni-dimensional attitude, and could not be assessed by the use of uni-dimensional designs and analyses.

Other researchers have developed models which have taken attitudes towards environmental conservation and concern for the natural environment as components of a broader attitude or personal / social value complex (eg, Cotgrove, 1982, Buss & Craik, 1984). These models of "contemporary worldviews" embody a set of dispositions not only towards environmental quality, but towards expert decision making, bureaucracy, the risks associated with various industrial and technological processes, and other 'green value areas'. In conducting these research project environmental concern has been investigated as it exists as a component within this broader personal and social value complex. These studies have related measures of environmental concern, or sub-divisions of this concern, to other attitudes toward modern socio-political issues in their investigation of post 1980 green social values.

SOCIAL VALUES

Concern for the quality of the natural environment is widespread (Lowe & Goyder, 1983) and as such is similar to many other social belief systems and values. The concept of social values has been defined in a variety of different ways. Many of these definitions are vague in specifying the concept they are attempting to define. These definitions have also been criticised as being too "complex and unclear" (Levy, 1986). For example:

"The term 'values' may refer to interests, pleasures, likes, preferences, duties, moral obligations, desires, wants, needs, aversions, attractions, and many other modalities of selective orientation."

(Williams.Jr, 1968)

This definition encompasses many modalities of human behaviour and typifies these by defining them as types of selective behaviour. Selection is identified as being important in distinguishing values from other human activities. However, the criteria of selective orientation (for assigning the presence of "value" to a selective instance) is not specified. A further example of a complex and unclear definition of values is given by Scott & Scott (1965):

"A value is a hypothetical construct assigned to that class of hypothetical constructs known as individuals phenomenology, the way one views the world and himself in relation to it."

(Scott & Scott, 1965 p97)

By categorising values as hypothetical constructs, in this imprecise manner, the definition of value within a specified context is left unclear. However, Scotts' definition offers some further criteria which may be used to identify values:

"Value is an individual's concept of an ideal relationship (or state of affairs), which he uses to assess the 'goodness' or 'badness', the 'rightness' or 'wrongness', of actual relationships that he observes or contemplates".

(Scott & Scott, 1965 pp99)

The greatest short-coming in all of the above definitions is lack of clarity. The social researcher who adopts one of the above definitions in the investigation of social values (as an area of human behaviour) would encounter considerable difficulty in delimiting an area for study. The same is true of research viewing a specific area of human activity in terms of its social value. This point is illustrated by Levy when she states:

"Any review of the research literature on "values" immediately reveals that the concept has been rather vague. .... definitions are complex and unclear, and almost invariably include external aspects that are but empirically related to the concept values (are but correlates)."

(Levy, 1986 p2)

Scott's (1965) definition allows an hypothesised construct to be identified as a value if its selective orientation involves choice along a positive to negative dimension. However, many positive to negative orientations occur which may not involve the ascription of value (Levy, 1985). Thus, it is necessary to more clearly define this dimension by stating the form that such a positiveness may take.

In the present research the definition offered by Levy, (1986) Levy & Guttman, (1974b) will be adopted. Levy defined a social value as a special case of an attitude. The specification of attitude she is using here is the one developed by Guttman, (1973). This states an attitude to be an evaluation which ranges from 'positive to negative' toward a specified event. A social value fulfils this criteria but also stresses the 'importance' of a certain event. Thus, evaluations indicative of a social value range from, very important, to not at all important, toward a specified objective. Furthermore, a value item may address an end state (how important a given instance is or isn't) or a goal (the importance of means or actions in attaining a desired end state).

It is clear that by these definitions, being environmentally concerned is both a social value and an attitude; these values may be ascribed to a position along a scale ranging from positive to negative, and also along a scale which ranges from very important to not at all important.

The above definitions have been developed through research into social values conducted within the framework of facet theory.

FACET THEORY

Facet theory (for a review see, Canter, 1985., Shye, 1978) is an approach to the study of the structure of complex systems in the social sciences. It is a coherent meta theoretical approach to the design of research projects, measuring instruments, and data analysis (Shye, 1978). It also provides guidelines for the manner in which research should be conducted and a rationale for why it should be carried out that way. The approach has been applied to many aspects of scientific endeavour. However, facet theory has found its major applications and has achieved its principal impact within the social sciences. As the social sciences have developed over the past few decades, their subject matter of human behaviour and experience has become theoretically and empirically more complex. As a consequence of this increase in complexity of the subject matter of the social sciences, the questions asked of the social scientist have become more sophisticated (Canter, 1982). As this has happened, the need for a means of specifying the conceptual content of a variety of research areas in a systematic and precise way becomes more urgent.

Facet theory provides a way of meeting such needs. Its research has proved most useful in social science investigations which have been concerned with complex behavioural systems. Canter (1982) claims that facet theory:

".... utilises three major constituents of scientific activity: 1) formal definition of the variables being studied 2) hypothesis of some specified relationships between the definition and an aspect of empirical observations, and 3) a rationale for the correspondence between 1 and 2.

(Canter, 1982 p144)

In undertaking the above activities it proposes a definitional framework in the form of facets. Facet theory recognises the fact that human beings and human characteristics may frequently be defined in terms of several relevant dimensions "at the same time" Such conceptual dimensions are referred to as facets. The constituent parts of these facets are called elements and make up the values on that dimension. To illustrate this approach let us consider a definitional framework developed by Brown (1985) as an illustration of the facet approach. She stated that:

".... people may be classified in terms of the facet 'marital status', whose elements would be defined as single, married, divorced, separated, widowed. At the same time they can be categorised by the facet 'number of children', whose elements might be none, two, three, or more."

(Brown, 1985 p21)

This definition illustrates well that the researcher may propose any number of related although mutually exclusive facets in an attempt to develop a classification system of their research area. However, facet research goes beyond this speculative enterprise by gathering empirical data and analysing this in order to support the hypothesised dimensions (facets). At an even later stage of a facet research project, the relationships between the elements of facets within a study may be analysed.

Amongst the many ways in which the facet approach to social research has been utilised has included the investigation of social values and attitudes.

FACET THEORY INVESTIGATIONS OF SOCIAL VALUES

Facet theory was initially used to investigate social values in an attempt to impose a clear definitional framework upon this area of research (Levy, 1985). In 1974, Levy and Guttman (1974a,b) developed their own definition of the concept of values in the form of a mapping sentence. A mapping sentence is the verbal specification of a research area in terms of its pertinent facets (study variables) and their respective elements (variable categories). A range of the values that observations may take in subsequent empirical (or theoretical) research is also stated The approach has used a mapping sentence to define social values as shown in figure 1. In this the content facets are items A,B,& C, whilst the response range is specified to run from 'very important that it should' to 'very important that it should not' exist for a specified (valued) reason.

The definition in the mapping sentence avoids many of the criticisms which have been made of other definitions of the concept "values". For instance, the definition is precise and not vague. It does not simply specify correlates of values. It allows for both change in values and the measurement of such changes. The definitions' clarity arises from the precise specification of the component parts of the concept. It also states that the "value" of a phenomena is indicated by its importance: Something that is valued is perceived to be important. Therefore, a positive to negative dimension running from important to not-important is defined as indicating choices (selective orientation) which ascribe value within their selection process.

According to the above definition, the concept of "values" has 3 component parts. Firstly facet A distinguishes between goal and behaviour. For example, it is possible to assess the importance of a goal (eg, happiness) or the importance of a behaviour (eg, helping others'). Secondly, if goals are considered, in facet B it is specified that these may be of an affective modality (eg, happiness) of a cognitive modality (eg, equality) or of an instrumental modality (eg, wealth). Behaviours may also be of these 3 modalities. They may be of an affective modality (eg, to love) of a cognitive modality (eg, to learn) or of an instrumental modality (eg, to make money). Finally, it is possible to assess the importance of the goal or behaviour in itself, or as a means for attaining a more primary goal or behaviour (facet C). For example, it is possible to assess the importance of learning to read as a goal or ends in itself or as a means of attaining a more primary goal (eg, attaining a job). Therefore, the question must be asked, "important for what purpose?" This is necessary as the meaning of the assessed importance depends on the goal. Also, the assessment of a goal or behaviour may change in accordance with purpose (Levy and Guttman, 1981c).

It has therefore been possible to assemble a definition of social values through the use of the facet theory approach. The value of employing this approach to research is that it forms both a starting point and a conclusion (providing hypotheses for investigation and the format for, and results to, an investigation). Having developed a taxonomy of elements of the concept of social values, research has applied this definition to specific social value contexts. This procedure has found empirical support for the theoretical classification system and allowed understanding to be developed of the social values which have been investigated within a real life setting.

Several studies exist within the facet theory literature which have attempted to develop an understanding of the personal and social values of a variety of issues within a given social population (Levy, 1986. Levy & Guttman, 1974a,b, 1976, 1981a,b,c, 1985) the populations which have been studied often having arisen from different countries. This research has found it possible to distinguish between values which exist in different areas of their respondents lives. For example, religious, economic, leisure, work and family are all life areas which have been researched. These life areas have all been separately identified as components of respondents' value systems. This has been possible as these value areas all possess an internal consistency amongst social value items which relate specifically to them (Levy, 1986). To illustrate this, (Levy, 1986) discovered that when questions about value in specific life areas (such as religion) were inter-correlated, these relationships were nearly always positive or zero. However, when values from different life areas were mixed, the direction of the relationship was not always present: Religious and some other social values were found to be consistently negatively correlated. For instance the religious values of "to be religious" and "to believe in god" were negatively related to the leisure related value of "to be rich" (Levy, 1986).

FIGURE 1

GENERAL MAPPING SENTENCE FOR SOCIAL VALUES

When social value items are correlated it has been found that the size of the coefficients between any 2 items is dependent upon 3 facets. These are: the life area to which the social value refers, the expression modality of a value (internal expression or external expression) and the mode of the value (for itself or for some greater goal). In all of the studies which have used a facet theory approach in the theoretical investigation of social values a common structure of life area categories (elements) has emerged. The common structure which has been observed has taken a circular structure. Within such a structure elements or items within an analysis are qualitatively different. The precise description of these elements has been found to vary in accordance with the context of the values within the study.

The general mapping sentence which has been developed in the research reviewed above, forms a template which may be used in value investigations. The adaptation and modification of this to investigate the social value of environmental concern will be undertaken in the present research.

The first stage in achieving this contextualisation of the mapping to the value of environmental concern was through a series of exploratory interviews with environmental conservation employees regarding their work area (see, Hackett, 1987).

The Hackett (1987) mapping sentence was of individual values. In order to investigate environmental concern as a social value, this mapping sentence lead to the development of a series of questionnaire studies. To facilitate the development of these studies the individual values mapping sentence combined with the Levy and Guttman (1985) general mapping sentence for social values, questionnaires designed to enable examination of environmentally concerned values.

THE FACETED INVESTIGATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN AND GREEN SOCIAL VALUES

The staring point for any investigation employing a faceted approach is the stating of a mapping sentence to guide both the research design and the interpretation of results. A mapping sentence for the content area of environmental concern activities had been developed through a series of exploratory interviews with workers in this field of employment (Hackett, 1987). The work by Hackett (1987) resulted in a mapping sentence for the general definition of this semantic domain. The general mapping sentence for social values developed by Levy (1985) and others, has already been stated (figure 1) and through the amalgamation of this and the Hackett (1987) mapping a design for the investigation of social values associated with environmental concern was developed which is shown in figure 2.

STUDY TO INVESTIGATE THE FACET STRUCTURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES

Details are given below of a study, which after a pilot investigation of the instrument, was designed to assess environmental concern values using the questionnaire listed above.

SURVEY DESIGN

The incorporation of facet elements into questions as defined by a mapping sentence can produce potentially complicated statements for respondents to digest. Shye (1979) has demonstrated that if the researcher clearly understands the precise meaning of the elements in the mapping sentence, questions can be developed which express the meaning of each of these elements without explicitly stating them (it is this explicit statement of facet elements which may make facet questionnaires turgid and difficult to understand). The questionnaire in the present study is derived from, and understood through reference to the mapping sentence in figure 2. This mapping sentence was assembled in order to facilitate the development of a series of related studies each of which were designed to assess different psychological qualities of environmental concern. In the present paper however, the results from the investigation of the internal structure of environmental concern values will be reported (the reader interested in the other components of the research programme is guided to Hackett, 1992).

FIGURE 2

MAPPING SENTENCE FOR THE DEFINITION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES

Levy, (1986) also adapted an existing social value mapping sentence in her research. In doing this she was able to examine the relationships between assessments of the importance of values, value related actions and the attainment of value goals. The mapping sentence for this research represents an idealised form for the structure of environmental concern attitudes. The mode (2) facet is included as it allows the comparison of (and the broadening of) the analysis of environmental concern values to include the performance of value related (eg., green) behaviours. Furthermore, no specific range is specified into which responses may be mapped. Inspection of the environmental concern literature shows immediately that the specific range of responses to environmental concern questions has been wide and varied and that it is often the case that different measures of concern have been taken as being equivalent. In this research program

different ranges will be used in the different questionnaires in order to permit direct comparison of these ranges to be made. However, in the present paper a single response range of importance will be reported. The design of the questionnaires will now be presented.

QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

It was decided, after several iterations of draft questionnaires, that the format which should be adopted was the one which would be most easily understood by respondents. To this ends, it was decided to firstly develop questions which reflected the elements of the scale and life area facets. This resulted in a total of 25 questions (see figure 3.). The cognitive element of the mode (2) facet reflecting the form of behaviour which was to be taken as indicative of environmental concern was specified as the importance of the value goal or state. The precise wording of questions was finalised after a short pilot study. Data were analysed to ensure that a wide range of responses were being gathered. Subjects were also encouraged to make suggestions and comments.

SAMPLE

The questionnaire was given to a sample of 218 undergraduate students (240 questionnaires were distributed).

RESULTS

Similarity structure analysis (SSA) was used to analyse the structure of the data from the questionnaire.

SIMILARITY STRUCTURE ANALYSIS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES QUESTIONNAIRE

Analysis produced 3 facets with a coefficient of alienation of 0.17.

Life Area Facet

In figure 4. is shown the plot of the facet of life area. This facet was proposed in the mapping sentence (figure 2). However, the facet structure discovered modified the format of this facet. It was hypothesised that the facet would take a qualitative (polar) form; this was in fact the case. The proposed structure was of 3 elements: Social conservation (which has a primarily human effect or benefit) educational conservation, and ecological conservation (primarily to benefit / effect animals or the environment). In figure 4. it can be seen that the elements of this facet were not as proposed. In terms of the importance of environmental concern the life area facet had elements of;

1/ area/habitat conservation

2/ species/animal conservation

3/ moral issues in conservation.

The circular arrangement of elements originating from a central point differentiated between environmental concern issues which addressed the different life areas. Furthermore, those items at the boundaries of the elements were described by both their own and their neighbouring element category. A second facet, of personal relevance, was also present in this plot.

FIGURE 3

QUESTIONS TO ASSESS ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES

FIGURE 4

PROJECTION OF THE SSA OF THE IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE SHOWING PARTITIONING OF THE LIFE AREA FACET AND PERSONAL RELEVANCE FACET

Facet of Personal Relevance

In figure 4. can be seen the second facet of this analysis. This was present in the same plot as the life area facet. The facet embodied evaluations related to the personal relevance of a conservation issue or action. The facet had a quantitative format and modified the qualitative assessments of the life area facet. The elements of this facet were:

1/ greater personal relevance.

2/ lesser personal relevance.

Actions of greater personal relevance were located more centrally in the plot.

The elements of this facet interact with the elements of the life area facet. Thus, environmental concern activities, be they related to species/ animals, area/habitat or morals,if they were of greater personal relevance to the assessor were located more centrally in the plot. It is worth noting that a central position often refers to the juncture of the elements of the facet rather than the geometric centre of the plot.

The third facet of this analysis was a second polar facet.

Scale of Action Facet

The third facet present in SSA was a scale of action facet. This is shown in figure 5. The format and structure of this facet was that proposed in the original mapping sentence (figure 2.). The elements of the facet were:

1/ global

2/ international

3/ ethical

4/ national and local

The relative positions of these facet elements show them to play a qualitative role in the structuring of attitudes with elements forming sectors around a common origin. This is so for all elements except the national conservation element. This was located in the same sector as the local conservation element. However, the element was separately identifiable as it occupied a more central area of the region. The explanation for this lies in the fact that the previously mentioned facet of personal relevance is also present in this projection. Therefore this second facet modifies the scale facet. The reason for the positioning of the national concern element is therefore explained by the amount of personal relevance attached to this in comparison with concern at a local scale. It is therefore the case that national concerns were more central and therefore more personally relevant / important.

FIGURE 5

PROJECTION OF THE SSA OF THE IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN QUESTIONNAIRE SHOWING PARTITIONING OF THE SCALE OF ACTION FACET AND THE PERSONAL RELEVANCE FACET

Together these 3 facets structure respondents' assessments of the importance of the selected environmental concern actions and issues.

FURTHER ANALYSES OF THE FACETS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN VALUES

Having established empirical validation for the facets proposed in the mapping further analyses were made in order to allow statements to be made in regard to the role played by these values in respondents reported commitment to green behaviours. Data was also gathered from the same respondents about their assessments of the effectiveness of, and their reported levels of overt behavioural commitment to, pro-environmental behaviours. The substantive question areas along with the mean scores for each of these form (mode) of assessment are stated in table 1.

The scores which had been obtained from each respondent were divided into quartiles. A code was then assigned to each respondents score such that the upper and lower quartiles were labelled '+' and '-' respectively. The mid 2 quartiles were collapsed under the label of '0'. calculated for each respondent Table 2. shows the relationship between the 4 behavioural modes in the survey and respondents quantitative evaluation of each environmental concern area as depicted by the above 3 codes.

The symbols in column 5 of table 2. are included to explicate the relationships between the elements of the modalities of behaviour facet.

Table 2. detailed the 4 relationships that exist within this context (in the table these are listed a to d). These symbols show the 'importance' (or value) variable to have an important relationship with involvement pledges. In all cases when the importance of an environmental conservation action or issue is perceived to be high, involvement pledges fall within the high or mid ranges. In 12 cases, when importance was rated as low or mid range, involvement pledges were low. In 2 case, importance was rated as low whilst involvement was high.

TABLE 1

MEAN SCORES FOR EACH QUESTION BY BEHVIOUR MODE

The above relationships may be interpreted in the following manner. If an environmental concern value area or issue is perceived as being of importance (of value), and actions within this area are assessed to be effective, then pledged involvement will be relatively high. Involvement pledge will also be relatively high if perceived importance (value) is high but effectiveness is seen to be low. However, pledges of both time and monetary involvement (contributions) will be low if importance is seen to be low and effectiveness is low, medium or high (ie, if their is a low level of personal or social value connected with the specified area).

This leads to the hypothesis that cognitive assessments of value are the primary factor in motivating pledges to become involved in activities which are supportive of environmental conservation.

DISCUSSION

During the course of this paper a facet theoretical model of environmental concern values has been proposed and has been empirically supported. The inter-relations of the facets and their combined form has also been detailed. The quantitative values assigned by respondents to each questionnaire item has also been presented as they are depicted by the facets of the general mapping sentence for environmental concern values. This has resulted in, 1/ the confirmation of the mapping as an appropriate model from which questions representative of its facet elements may be designed which address the area of environmental concern values in a manner which is understandable to respondents, 2/ the importance that assessments of the value of environmental concern has been shown to be significantly and influential related to other cognitive evaluations of these values and to reported behavioural commitment to the same environmental values.

EXTENSIONS OF THE FACET MODEL

This paper has described the general approach adopted by facet theory investigations and the use of the mapping sentence in research design and analysis. It then progressed to the detailing of previous facet investigations of social values, the generation of a general mapping sentence for social values. From this background the text developed through consideration of a general mapping sentence for environmental concern values and environmentally concerned (green) behaviours. In achieving this it has been shown how the facet approach may be used in the investigation of specific and general social and personal values.

In the next section a facet design will be considered for investigating one particular life area in which green values have become apparent; that of green consumer behaviour and a mapping sentence will be proposed for green consumer behaviour. The specific adaptation of the general mapping sentence for social values to green consumer behaviour resulted revised mapping sentence shown in figure 6. The inclusion of the facets and facet elements within this mapping sentence are theoretically in the general mapping sentence for environmental concern values. The validity for the specification of these is the subject of future empirical investigation.

The aims of the research contained within this paper were to explore the area of social values which were concerned with the quality of the natural environment. The results of the research were not to be ends in themselves but rather were to form the basis for future research into green consumer values and behaviour. The results have been presented of a questionnaire study to investigate the dimensions of this value and attitudinal area. This has been used to developand a model of environmental concern values. Further extensions of the model expecially within the area of green consumerism have also been proposed.

TABLE 2

MATRIX OF SCORE SYMBOLS COMPARING COGNITIVE MODES AND INVOLVEMENT MODES

FIGURE 6

MAPPING SENTENCE FOR GREEN CONSUMER VALUES AND BEAVIOURS

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----------------------------------------

Authors

Paul M.W Hackett, University of Birmingham, England



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 1 | 1993



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