Alia Dietsch, Michael Gavin, Kimberly Henry
2015 unpublished
CONCEPTUALIZING VALUES AS PART OF A DYNAMIC MULTILEVEL WORLD Humans are engaged in complex relationships of adaptation and change with the environment, each affecting one another. These relationships (i.e., feedback loops) necessitate an increased understanding of the different components of social-ecological systems. However, these systems appear to operate differently depending on the levels and scales under investigation, making it difficult to fully conceptualize these interconnected
more » ... terconnected phenomena as well as raising important questions. We narrow our focus on two specific areas of inquiry in the interest of explicating factors that influence social values, which in turn lead to the attitudes and behaviors that can either drive or alleviate the many environmental challenges we face. First, how might macro processes of social change at different levels affect individual-level thought, and what might this mean for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection? Second, can internal human cognitions transform into widespread societal beliefs about how the environment, including wildlife, should be treated? This dissertation presents two manuscripts designed to contribute to these areas of inquiry by considering how values are influenced by processes at different levels on a geopolitical scale, and how those values shape levels of cognition within individuals (an internal cognitive scale). The first chapter specifically focuses on understanding how socioeconomic advances at the county-level within the state of Washington are influencing new value priorities, and how these values lead to support for biodiversity conservation of species irrespective of human needs. For example, higher levels of income, education, and urbanization at both individual and county