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Environmental Problems and Human Behavior / Edition 1

Environmental Problems and Human Behavior / Edition 1

by Gerald T. Gardner, Paul C. Stern

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ISBN-10: 0536686335

ISBN-13: 9780536686336

Pub. Date: 09/12/2002

Publisher: Pearson Learning Solutions

This book examines the behavioral dimensions of global and regional environmental problems such as the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. The book asks: What does our knowledge of human behavior tell us about the root causes of environmental problems and about strategies for solving them?


This book examines the behavioral dimensions of global and regional environmental problems such as the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. The book asks: What does our knowledge of human behavior tell us about the root causes of environmental problems and about strategies for solving them?

Product Details

Pearson Learning Solutions
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


I. Introduction.

1. The Earth's Environmental Problems and the Role of Human Behavior.
Chapter Prologue.
Box 1-1: A New, Unanticipated Environmental Threat • Focus of This Book: The Behavioral Dimensions • Format and Organization of This Book • More on the Role of Individual Behavior.
More on Global Environmental Problems.
The Greenhouse Effect • Ozone Layer Damage • Destruction of Tropical Forests and the Loss of Genetic Diversity • Destruction of Ecological Capital • Driving Forces that Underlie Environmental Problems • Box 1-2: More on Momentum in Growth Processes.
Reasons for Guarded Optimism.


2. Environmental Problems as Tragedies-of-the-Commons.
Chapter Prologue.
Intellectual Roots of the Tragedy of the Commons Concept.
Four Solution Approaches • Government Laws, Regulations, and Incentives • Education • Small-Group/Community Management • Highlight Box 2-1: How Tragedy Was Averted on the English Agricultural Commons • Moral, Religious, and/or Ethical Appeals • Which of the Four Solution Approaches to Use? Champions of the Different Approaches.
The Four Solution Approaches: Strategy for the Next Five Chapters.
Chapter Epilogue.

3. Religious and Moral Approaches: Changing Values, Beliefs, and World-Views.
Do Values, Morals, Beliefs, Religious Teachings and Practices Affect How Individuals and Cultures Treat Their Environment?
Survey Research in a Single Country (the U.S.) • Historical and Inter-Cultural Evidence.
Proenvironmental Religious/Moral Movements—Current Developments and Possible Future Trends.
Ecotheology • Thomas Berry's Work • Deep Ecology • Ecofeminism.
Common Threads in Religious/Morally-Based Environmental Movements.
Shared Ecological World-View • Shared “Ecocentric” Values • Plan for the Rest of the Chapter.
Issue One: Are Environmental Values and Beliefs Changing?
Strong Public Support for Environmental Protection • Emerging Support for the Ecological World-View • A Direct Search for Ecocentric Public Values • The Emergence of “Post-Materialist” Values.
Issue Two: Will Changes in Values and Beliefs Persist?
Issue Three: How Do Values and Beliefs Influence People's Actions?
A Closer Look at How Values (and Beliefs about the Consequences of Environmental Problems) Influence Actions • Factors that can Limit the Effect of Value Changes.

4. Educational Interventions: Changing Attitudes and Providing Information.
Chapter Prologue.
Education to Change Environmental Attitudes and Beliefs.
Box 4-1: Attitudes vs. Barriers to Action: Energy Conservation in Massachusetts, 1980.
Efforts to Change Behavior with Information.
Information, Plain and Simple • Better Ways to Provide Information.
Tightening the Links from Attitudes to Behavior.
When Does Information Work?
Summary and Conclusion: What Can Education Accomplish?

5. Changing the Incentives.
Chapter Prologue.
The Theory of Incentives for Environmental Protection.
Box 5-1: The Theory of Externalities.
Incentives for Ridesharing and Mass Transit Use.
Incentives for Recycling and Waste Reduction.
Reducing Energy Use in Homes.
Energy Price Changes • Financial Rewards • Making Conservation Convenient.
Principles for Designing Effective Incentives.
Conclusion: What Can Incentives Accomplish?
Epilogue: How People Changed the Incentives Facing a Corporation.

6. Community Management of the Commons.
Chapter Prologue.
How Does Resource Management Work in Small Communities?
Characteristics of the Resource • Characteristics of the Group • Characteristics of Effective Rules • The Role of Central Government in Community Management • The Psychology of Community Management • Community Management and Hardin's Model • Other Benefits of Community Management.
Applying Community Management Principles Beyond Small Groups.
Local Resource Dependence in Modern Societies • Community Management without Resource Dependence.
Community Management as a Way of Life.
Community Management versus Development Policy • Making Resources More Manageable.
When is Community Management Likely to Work.
Conclusion: What Can Community Management Accomplish?
Advantages of Community Management • Limitations of Community Management • What Can Community Management Accomplish?

7. Combining the Solution Strategies.
Chapter Prologue.
Model Energy Conservation Program • A Success Story on Recycling.
Lessons of Successful Environmental Programs.
Use Multiple Intervention Types to Address the Factors Limiting Behavior Change • Understand the Situation from the Actor's Perspective • When Limiting Factors are Psychological, Apply Understanding of Human Choice Processes • Address Conditions Beyond the Individual That Constrain Proenvironmental Choice • Set Realistic Expectations about Outcomes • Continually Monitor Responses and Adjust Programs Accordingly • Stay Within the Actor's Tolerance for Intervention • Use Participatory Strategies of Decision Making • An Additional Value of Participatory Methods.


8. Stone Age Genetic Behavioral Predispositions in the Space Age.
Chapter Prologue.
Human Genetic Predispositions and Environmental Problems • A Primer on Anthropology: Biological Evolution and Cultural Evolution • Box 8- 1: Darwinian Natural Selection.
Natural Stimuli and Human Well-Being: The Biophilia Hypothesis.
Informal and Indirect Evidence for the Biophilia Hypothesis • Box 8-2: Phenotypes vs. Genotypes • Limited Grounds and Criteria for Inferring the Existence of Genetic Behavioral Predispositions • Direct and Formal Evidence for Biophilia as a Human Genetic Predisposition • Brief Overview of the Biophilia Research.
Genetically-Based Sex and Reproductive Urges.
Implications of Ehrlich's Argument • Other Causes and Solutions of Global Population Growth.
Are Human Beings Short-Term Egoists by Nature?
The Argument that Natural Selection Favors Egoism • Arguments that Natural Selection Favors Altruism • Explaining Altruism as Egoism: Sociobiology and Reciprocity • A Cultural Evolutionary Account of Altruism.
Stone Age Genetic Perceptual and Cognitive Predispositions.
Hardin's (1969) Hypothesis: Genetically-Based Denial • Ornstein and Ehrlich's (1989) Theory: The “Old” Human Mind in the New World.

9. Human Reactions to Environmental Hazards: Perceptual and Cognitive Processes.
Part One: Chapter Prologue.
Example A: Underreaction to a Natural Hazard: UCLA Students and Earthquakes • Example B: Overreaction to a Natural Hazard: Lightning vs. Tornadoes • Example C: Overreaction to the Risks of Nuclear Power and Other Technologies.
Part Two: Introduction—More on People's Reactions to Hazards and Risks.
Underreactions to Natural, Technological, and Personal Health Hazards: A Closer Look • Overreactions to Natural, Technological, and Personal Health Hazards: A Closer Look • An Important Side Trip: A Major Problem When Judging whether People Over- or Underreact to Risks of a Technology—The Moral, Ethical, and Political Issues that Underlie Societal Debates about Technological Risks • An Overview of Psychological Causes of Risk Misestimation and Failure to Take Appropriate Actions—Four Theories.
Part Three: Perceptual/Cognitive/Emotional/Evolutionary Causes of Risk Underreaction—Three Theories.
Slovic, Fischhoff, and Lichtenstein's (1978) Concept of Risk Underestimation/Inaction and “Getting On with One's Life” • Taylor and Brown's (1988) Theory about “Illusions” , Perceived Control, and Mental Health • Psychological Stress Theory: Denial as a Response to Environmental Threats Perceived as Uncontrollable.
Part Four: Cognitive/Perceptual Errors, Biases, and Short-Cuts as Causes of Both Risk Over- and Underreaction—One Theory.
Bounded Rationality • The Availability Heuristic • Availability and Risk Underreaction • Availability and Risk Overreaction • Other Heuristics, Cognitive Errors, Biases • More on Availability: People's Insensitivity to Missing Items in Fault-Tree Analyses and Diagrams • Yet More on the Availability Heuristic: Some Speculation • Using Vivid and Concrete Images to Heighten People's Estimates of Risk and Spur Protective Actions • Box 9-1: The “Scared Straight” Program: Could Whoopi Goldberg and Peter Falk be Wrong? • Conveying Both the Probability and the Severity of the Hazard.
Part Five: Summary: Putting the Different Elements Together: Psychological Causes and Possible Solutions.
Overview of Modified Protection-Motivation Theory • Values, Perceived Severity of Hazard, and Perceived Vulnerability (Probability) of Hazard • Perceived Response-Efficacy, Self-Efficacy, and Perceived Costs and Barriers • Beyond the Protection-Motivation Framework.
Part Six: Conclusion.


10. Choosing the Behaviors to Change and the Points of Intervention.
Chapter Prologue.
A Behaviorally-Oriented Analysis of the U.S. Energy System.
Major Energy Users • Major Uses of Energy by Individuals and Households • The Conservation Potential of 30 Different Energy-Conserving Actions • More on “Curtailment” Conservation Actions vs. “Increased- Efficiency” Conservation Actions • Box 10-1: Public Conceptions of Household Energy Conservation: Emphasis on Curtailments and Neglect of Efficiency Increases.
A Behaviorally-Oriented Analysis of U.S. Litter and Solid-Waste Problems.
The General Superiority of “Upstream” Rather than “Downstream” Solutions.
Box 10-2: More on “Upstream” vs. “Downstream” Solutions, and Prevention vs. Cure.
Behaviorally-Oriented Analyses of Global Environmental Problems: The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change as an Example.
The Analysis • More on Fossil-Fuel Consumption • The Energy Crisis, Revisited.
Choosing Target Behaviors: Earth Day 1990, and the As-Many-As 750 Everyday Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth.
Chapter Conclusion.

11. Human Interactions with Complex Systems: “Normal” Accidents and Counter-Intuitive System Behavior.
Chapter Prologue.
Coverage and Organization of the Chapter.
Part One: Complex Technological Systems and “Normal” Accidents.
Characteristics of “Normal” Accidents • Box 11-1: Marine Accidents and the Environment • Summary and Other Considerations • Does the Chernobyl Accident Fit the “Normal” Accident Framework?
Part Two: Complex Social, Economic, Political, and Environmental Systems.
Urban Systems and Global Environmental Systems • What Makes Complex Systems Incomprehensible?: High-Order, Multiple Feedback Loops, and Non- Linearities • Box 11-2: Feedback Loops • Augmenting the Human Mind: Computer Modeling of Complex Systems • Counter-Intuitive Properties of Complex Systems • Box 11-3: Can Conservation Ever be Bad? The “Tucson Paradox” • A Caution Before Drawing Conclusions.

12. Human Interactions with Complex Systems: Chaos, Self-Organization, and the Global Environmental Future.
Chapter Prologue.
Part One: Beyond “Control” : Deterministic Chaos, Antichaos, and Self- Organization in Complex Systems.
Introduction; Deterministic Chaos and Non-Control • Box 12-1: Chaotic Behavior: The Beer Game • Processes that Counter Chaos.
Part Two: A Broad Look at the Global Environmental Future.
Three Characteristics of the Global Environmental System that Increase the Probability of Disasters • The Potential of the Global System for “Overshoot and Collapse” ; the Meadows et al. Computer Model • Criticisms of Meadows et al. Global Modeling Work; General Conclusions that are Sustained by This Work • Solutions to Global Environmental Problems: “Traditional” Measures; Addressing Long Time Delays and the Potential for Irreversible Catastrophes; Controlling Growth.




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