University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Temporal pessimism and spatial optimism in environmental assessments: An 18-nation study

Gifford, R, Scannell, L, Kormos, C, Smolova, L, Biel, A, Boncu, S, Corral, V, Guntherf, H, Hanyu, K, Hine, D , Kaiser, FG, Korpela, K, Lima, LM, Mertig, AG, Mira, RG, Moser, G, Passafaro, P, Pinheiro, JQ, Saini, S, Sako, T, Sautkina, E, Savina, Y, Schmuck, P, Schultz, W, Sobeck, K, Sundblad, EL and Uzzell, D (2009) Temporal pessimism and spatial optimism in environmental assessments: An 18-nation study J ENVIRON PSYCHOL, 29 (1). pp. 1-12.

Gifford_Scannell_Uzzell.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (263kB)
[img] Text (licence)

Download (1kB)


The personal assessments of the Current and expected future state of the environment by 3232 community respondents in 18 nations were investigated at the local, national, and global spatial levels. These assessments were compared to a ranking of each country's environmental quality by air expert panel. Temporal pessimism ("things will get worse") Was found in the assessments at all three spatial levels. Spatial optimism bias ("things are better here than there") was found in the assessments of current environmental conditions in 15 Of 18 countries, but not in the assessments of the future. All countries except one exhibited temporal pessimism, but significant differences between them were common. Evaluations of current environmental conditions also differed by country. Citizens' assessments of current conditions, and the degree of comparative optimism, were strongly correlated with the expert panel's assessments of national environmental quality. Aside from the value of understanding global trends in environmental assessments, the results have important implications for environmental policy and risk management strategies. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Gifford, R
Scannell, L
Kormos, C
Smolova, L
Biel, A
Boncu, S
Corral, V
Guntherf, H
Hanyu, K
Hine, D
Kaiser, FG
Korpela, K
Lima, LM
Mertig, AG
Mira, RG
Moser, G
Passafaro, P
Pinheiro, JQ
Saini, S
Sako, T
Sautkina, E
Savina, Y
Schmuck, P
Schultz, W
Sobeck, K
Sundblad, EL
Uzzell, D
Date : March 2009
DOI : 10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.06.001
Uncontrolled Keywords : Environmental optimism, Environmental pessimism, International, Cross-cultural, UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM, CULTURAL THEORY, VALUES, PERCEPTIONS, DEGRADATION, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, FUTURE, RISKS
Additional Information : NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Environmental Psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29 (1), March 2009, DOI 10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.06.001.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 03 Dec 2011 09:21
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800