The awareness of consequences scale: An exploration, empirical analysis and reinterpretation

A. M. Ryan, Clive L. Spash

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The value–belief–norm model assumes that egoistic, social-altruistic, and biospheric value orientations causally influence how people cognitively structure beliefs regarding adverse environmental consequences. Empirical studies have administered the Awareness of Consequences (AC) scale to differentiate between these 3 orientations. We report an analysis that challenges previous work in the field. Evidence is presented that indicates the AC scale should be reinterpreted as a measure of beliefs supporting environmental action and beliefs supporting environmental inaction. The beliefs supporting environmental action appear to be differentiable according to beliefs in the positive consequences from environmental protection and the seriousness of environment harm. This has major implications for the value–belief–norm model and its application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2505 - 2540
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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