Title: Trust mediates conservation-related behaviors
Author: Winter, Patricia L.; Cvetkovich, George
Source: Ecopsychology 2(4): 211-219
Description: In this article we explore the influence that a perceived connection between a natural resource management agency and individual citizens has upon conservation-related behaviors on public lands, offering an extension of psychology’s examination of environmental behaviors. Our emphasis is upon perceived value similarity and
resulting trust between citizens and the USDA Forest Service, defined through the salient values similarity model. On the basis of a retrospective analysis of four studies examining public views on threatened and endangered species management on forest lands, we explore the hypothesis that trust will influence public engagement
in conservation-related behaviors. We offer evidence suggesting that trust influences perceptions of messages the USDA Forest Service provides regarding risks to habitat, perception of recommended approaches to addressing environmental risk, acceptance of management actions to reduce environmental risks, and engagement
of publics in conservation efforts. Findings show that trust is associated with a range of attitudes and behaviors related to conservation, all suggestive of forms of engagement in conservation. We conclude that the relationship between individuals and natural
resource management agencies is an underexplored area of inquiry in conservation-related research, one that merits attention given the demonstrated value of trust. Conservation-related organizations, natural resource management agencies, and related entities can benefit from the findings by ensuring that their efforts address trust
building and trust maintenance as a part of their ongoing interactions with publics and endeavors to foster conservation-related behaviors.
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Winter, Patricia L.; Cvetkovich, George 2010. Trust mediates conservation-related behaviors. Ecopsychology 2(4): 211-219.