Capstone Oral Presentation
Personality and values: How do they influence environmental concern in Alaska
Advisors: Dr. Carena van Riper, Dr. Adam Landon, Dr. Riley Andrade, and Piper Hodson
April 8, 2022, 1:00 PM CST
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Meeting ID: 820 2045 7724
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This study examined how personality and values work in conjunction with one another to influence reported levels of environmental concern across the U.S. state of Alaska. Few previous studies have examined these associations but none, to date, have investigated the effects of such psychologically stable drivers of environmental concern in a context like Alaska with vast expanses of public land and apparent pressures causing landscape change and degradation. Drawing on survey data from residents across the state, we found that all of the Big 5 Personality Traits accounted for moderate to high degrees of variation in five dimensions of values that extend the Value-Belief-Norm Theory. Specifically, the traits of neuroticism/emotionality and conscientiousness positively correlated with biospheric and altruistic values, which in turn, increased levels of concern about environmental protection. The same personality traits moved through a value orientation reflecting the importance of eudaimonia as a guiding principle in life, which negatively predicted environmental concern. These findings provide insight into how personality and values as stable regularities of behavior relate to more specific responses to environmental change within a context that is facing apparent impacts but also replete with opportunities to preserve wildlands in the public domain.