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In Search of Value Literacy: Suggestions for the Elicitation of Environmental Values

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This paper recognises the many contributions to work on environmental values while arguing that some reconsideration of elicitation practices is warranted. It argues that speaking and thinking about certain environmental values, particularly ethical expressions, are ill-matched with the affectively neutral, direct question-answer formats standard to willingness-to-pay and survey methods. Several indirect, narrated, and affectively resonant elicitation tasks were used to provide study participants with new opportunities to express their values. Coded results demonstrate that morally resonant, image-based, and narrative-style elicitation tasks help respondents articulate a broader range of noncost and nonutilitarian environmental values. However, it was found that elicitations of this kind are most useful when presented in a affectively subtle and noncontroversial form. Several suggestions for synthesising these methods with more structured forms (e.g., surveys, constructed preferences, etc.) are offered.

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Keywords: emotion and value; environmental ethics and values; narrative valuation; noneconomic value; public participation; value deliberation; value elicitation methods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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