Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes Toward Environmental Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems

Version 1 : Received: 15 June 2018 / Approved: 18 June 2018 / Online: 18 June 2018 (15:26:36 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Alexandridis, K. Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes toward Environmental Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 109. Alexandridis, K. Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes toward Environmental Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 109.

Journal reference: Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 109
DOI: 10.3390/socsci7070109

Abstract

This study addresses the latent construct of attitudes towards environmental conservation based on study participant’s responses. We measured and evaluated the latent scale based on an 18-item scale instrument, over four experimental strata (N=945) in the US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. We estimated the latent scale reliability and validity. We further fitted multiple alternative two-parameter logistic (2PL) and graded response models (GRM) from Item-Response Theory. We finally constructed and fitted equivalent structural and generalized structural equation models (SEM/GSEM) for the attitudinal latent scale. All scale measures (composite, alpha-based, IRT-based and SEM-based) were consistently and reliably valid measures of the study participants’ latent attitudes toward conservation. We found statistically significant differences among participant’s attributes relating to socio-demographic, physical and core environmental characteristics of participants. We assert that the nature of relationship between cognitive attitudes and individual as well as social behavior related to environmental conservation.

Subject Areas

environmental attitudes; social-ecological systems; coral reef; scale development; item-response theory; reliability; generalized structural equation model

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