Are relational values different in practice to instrumental values?
Relational values have been proposed as a more inclusive alternative to instrumental and intrinsic values of nature. Although theoretically different, the empirical work to ascertain whether relational values are in practice different to instrumental values has been scarce. We surveyed 501 university students in Singapore to assess whether they could distinguish in practice between relational and instrumental values of several parks and to identify correlates of their value scores (their personality, the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) and their nature experiences). Using correlation and factor analysis, we find that relational and instrumental values are nearly indistinguishable in practice for our respondents. Correlates of high value scores are the importance of nature in fondest childhood memories and NEP statements related to concern with a future ecological crisis. Relational and instrumental values further shared multiple personality (extraversion, emotional stability) and NEP statement predictors. Our results call to urgently expand the empirical evidence base of relational values to inform their conceptualization.
See, SC; Shaikh, SFEA; Jaung, W; Carrasco, LR
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