A two‐factor awareness‐appraisal model suggests that individuals' reactions to threatening circumstances are shaped by their awareness of the threat and their appraisal of the degree of threat the circumstances pose to them. This approach, applied to watershed conservation, predicts that individuals will be willing to clean up the rivers and streams of their watershed if they are familiar with local water features (rivers, streams, ponds, lakes) and if they consider these features of the watershed to be degraded. We tested the model by measuring watershed knowledge, appraisal of watershed quality, value assigned to protecting the watershed, and behavioral intentions regarding watershed preservation in a survey of 1,128 residents of two urban watersheds. The results supported the awareness‐appraisal model: Those residents who were aware of their watershed and considered it polluted expressed the strongest pro‐preservation behavioral intentions. These relationships were held in both watersheds, but were stronger for those who resided in the more degraded watershed.
Analyses of Social Issues & Public Policy – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2004