Perceived resource scarcity and environmental behaviors - how do they relate?
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Sustainability challenges largely have to do with valuing past, present and future resources. History is full of examples of humans and societies that threat, react to changes in, and preserve resources they depend on. However, there is surprisingly little research on behavioral reactions to decreasing or increasing resource levels in the field of environmental studies. This study aims to investigate the impact of individual experience-based subjective evaluations of different types of resources on environmental behavior. The study is explorative since the relation between subjective resources and environmental behavior to our knowledge has never been investigated. There are good reasons to expect both negative and positive correlations between perceived scarcity of resources and environmental behavior (partly depending on what resource we have in mind). The theoretical model is based on an understanding of environmental behavior as a collective action problem based in a social dilemma. This link is investigated in a survey to the Swedish public (N = 978), which also controls for people’s social value orientation (SVO), subjective well-being, and generalized trust and trust in environmental institutions, as well as income, age and gender.