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Public acceptability towards environmental policy measures: Value-matching appeals

Journal article
Authors Andreas Nilsson
André Hansla
J.M. Heiling
Cecilia Jakobsson Bergstad
Johan Martinsson
Published in Environmental Science and Policy
Volume 61
Pages 176-184
ISSN 1462-9011
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Department of Political Science
Pages 176-184
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2016.04...
Keywords Environmental policy , Environmental policy communication , Values
Subject categories Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology), Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Abstract

© 2016. People's acceptability of environmental policy measures is vital for a successful implementation. Identifying how information concerning radical policy measures can be improved may increase support and generate more positive attitudes towards the policy. The effect of tailored information on acceptability towards implementing a proposed congestion charge was investigated by matching ecocentric arguments to biospherically value-oriented participants, and anthropocentric arguments to those who endorsed egoistic values. 627 respondents living in two small Swedish cities participated via a web-based survey. The results show that the single arguments (anthropocentric or ecocentric appeals) were evaluated more favourably than the combination of arguments (including both anthropocentric and ecocentric appeals). Strong biospheric and strong egoistic values were associated with positive and negative evaluations of the policy proposal, respectively. Finally, while respondents who endorsed egoistic values tended to be more positive towards the proposal after reading anthropocentric arguments (value match) than after reading pro-environmental arguments (value mismatch), the opposite effect was observed for respondents who did not endorse egoistic values. Our results suggest that tailoring information with regard to people's values would be effective in promoting positive attitudes towards important policy measures.

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