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The psycho-spatial dimension of global environmental problems

Uzzell, DL (2000) The psycho-spatial dimension of global environmental problems Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20 (4). pp. 307-318.

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There has been little research on the differential aspects of the local/global dichotomy, yet there is every suggestion that such a distinction could be crucially important in terms of understanding the public's perceptions and attitudes towards environmental problems as well as understanding their subsequent behaviour. This research sought to address three questions. First, are people only able to relate to environmental issues if they are concrete, immediate and local? Second, do people consider environmental problems to be more serious at a global or a local level? Third, what is the effect of the public's perceptions of the seriousness of environmental problems on their sense of responsibility for taking action? Three studies were undertaken in Australia, England, Ireland and Slovakia. The results of each study con sistently demonstrate that respondents are not only able to conceptualize problems at a global level, but an inverse distance effect is found such that environmental problems are perceived to be more serious the farther away they are from the perceiver. An inverse relationship was also found between a sense of responsibility for environmental problems and spatial scale resulting in feelings of powerlessness at a global level. The paper concludes with a discussion of various psychological theories and perspectives which informs our analysis and understanding of what might be seen as environmental hyperopia. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Uzzell, DL
Date : December 2000
DOI : 10.1006/jevp.2000.0175
Uncontrolled Keywords : appraisal inventory; perception; threat; states; health; life
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, 20(4), December 2000, DOI 10.1006/jevp.2000.0175.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 22 Jul 2014 08:41
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 14:15

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