UZH-Logo

Temporal pessimism and spatial optimism in environmental assessments: An 18-nation study


Gifford, R; Scannell, L; Kormos, C; Biel, A; Boncu, S; Kaiser, F G (2009). Temporal pessimism and spatial optimism in environmental assessments: An 18-nation study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(1):1-12.

Abstract

The personal assessments of the current and expected future state of the environment by 3130 community
respondents in 18 nations were investigated at the local, national, and global spatial levels. These
assessments were compared to a ranking of each country’s environmental quality by an expert panel.
Temporal pessimism (‘‘things will get worse’’) was found in the assessments at all three spatial levels.
Spatial optimism bias (‘‘things are better here than there’’) was found in the assessments of current
environmental conditions in 15 of 18 countries, but not in the assessments of the future. All countries
except one exhibited temporal pessimism, but significant differences between them were common.
Evaluations of current environmental conditions also differed by country. Citizens’ assessments of current
conditions, and the degree of comparative optimism, were strongly correlated with the expert
panel’s assessments of national environmental quality. Aside from the value of understanding global
trends in environmental assessments, the results have important implications for environmental policy
and risk management strategies.

The personal assessments of the current and expected future state of the environment by 3130 community
respondents in 18 nations were investigated at the local, national, and global spatial levels. These
assessments were compared to a ranking of each country’s environmental quality by an expert panel.
Temporal pessimism (‘‘things will get worse’’) was found in the assessments at all three spatial levels.
Spatial optimism bias (‘‘things are better here than there’’) was found in the assessments of current
environmental conditions in 15 of 18 countries, but not in the assessments of the future. All countries
except one exhibited temporal pessimism, but significant differences between them were common.
Evaluations of current environmental conditions also differed by country. Citizens’ assessments of current
conditions, and the degree of comparative optimism, were strongly correlated with the expert
panel’s assessments of national environmental quality. Aside from the value of understanding global
trends in environmental assessments, the results have important implications for environmental policy
and risk management strategies.

Citations

57 citations in Web of Science®
74 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:March 2009
Deposited On:13 Jan 2010 14:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0272-4944
Additional Information:Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.jenvp.2008.06.001
Related URLs:http://web.uvic.ca/psyc/gifford/pdf/Optimism%20Study%20Proof.pdf

Download

Full text not available from this repository.View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations