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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Values are desirable goals that serve as guiding principles in people’s life. As such, values can influence multiple beliefs, attitudes, norms, and behaviors simultaneously. Values determine what people attend to, what knowledge becomes cognitively most accessible, how people evaluate various aspects of the situation, and what alternatives are being considered, which in turn affects actual behavior. Different individuals may endorse the same values, but they are likely to prioritize various values differently, resulting in different preferences, beliefs, attitudes, norms, and choices. In this chapter, we discuss relevant value theories and elaborate on four types of values that are particularly relevant in the environmental domain: hedonic, egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric values. Values typically influence behavior indirectly, via behavior-specific beliefs, preferences, attitudes, and norms. Values are particularly influential when they are strongly endorsed, and when they are activated, cognitively supported, central to the self, and part of our self-identity. Values reflect a broad range of motivations (notably hedonic, egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric motivations) and as such differ from ecological worldviews and environmental concerns that focus on environmental motivations.

Keywords: values, social value orientations, hedonic values, egoistic values, altruistic values, biospheric values, self-enhancement values, self-transcendence values, ecological worldviews, environmental concern, environmental beliefs, norms, environmental behavior

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