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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). 1 - 12. ISSN 0272-4944

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Abstract

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
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.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental optimism, Environmental pessimism, International, Cross-cultural, UNREALISTIC OPTIMISM, CULTURAL THEORY, VALUES, PERCEPTIONS, DEGRADATION, KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES, FUTURE, RISKS
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2011 09:21
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:54
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/29735

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