Modeling Stakeholder Acceptance of Solutions to Environmental Problems
University of Maine
- Caroline Noblet, Economics
- Laura Lindenfeld, Communication
- Jessica Leahy, Forest Resources
- Linda Silka, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
- Mark Anderson, Economics
This proposal will provide crucial knowledge about how people evaluate environmental/resource
management problems and potential technological approaches to these problems. We will also evaluate approaches to measure and change people’s environmental values. This knowledge will help design, and
test the effectiveness of various information strategies to educate and promote environmental solutions.
This proposal provides fundamental research by increasing knowledge of how a broad array of factors may influence a person’s evaluation of ‘public good’ attributes.1 We do this by expanding and testing current economic and psychological models of stakeholder values. In addition, we will combine choice and technology adoption models into a more unified framework since many environmental solutions are developed or enhanced through the use of new technologies/approaches/methods (hereafter,
technologies), and people are skeptical or resistant to accepting them. For example, one strategy to combat global warming would be to develop technologies that would reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
Our application deals with two alternative technologies – deepwater offshore wind power (hereafter, wind power) and wood-based biofuels.
In the short run, this proposal will fully integrate researchers from various K-A social-science disciplines (economics, psychology and communications). In the long run, this proposal will lead to future proposals to fully integrate researchers from the social science disciplines with environmental and social science researchers who are members of DeepCwind (a consortium of researchers examining the feasibility of wind power). Although the application is related to wind power development, the research questions are focused on how individuals evaluate potential social, economic and environmental tradeoffs inherent in solving many environmental problems. Understanding these processes is one of the first steps to creating“a … means of evaluating the effectiveness of communication and decision-making …; leading to improvements in translating scientific knowledge … into individual and collective actions” (SSI).