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Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet / Institutionen för ekonomi och samhälle

Sammanfattning: ”Construal level theory”, CLT, is a multidisciplinary theory that builds upon the reasoning that perceived distance to events influence the level of abstraction one feels about the events. This, in turn, has the ability to affect people’s behaviour. This study aims to test the theory in the context of droughts and examines the correlation between if a person perceives their surroundings as exceptionally dry, or not, and their water-saving behaviours. Are the ones who did perceive their surroundings as dry, less likely to waste drinking water in their daily lives, than the ones who did not perceive their surroundings as dry? The study touches two fields of geography; behaviour geography and environmental geography.Globally as well as nationally and locally, there is a necessity for people to decrease their waste of water. Climate change, an increasing global population and melting glaciers all contribute to a decrease of the world’s overall freshwater reservoirs. If nothing is done, the demand in the future has little chance of being met. The conclusions of this study are based on an online survey that yielded 633 full responses, which then statistically were analysed. A type of snowball sample was done in order to spread the survey to as many places as possible, which was rather a successful way, as a majority of the municipalities in Sweden were represented by at least one respondent. According to the expectations, a statistically significant positive correlation was found between perception and behaviours, also when other independent variables where accounted for. The expectations were based on earlier research that also focused on CLT and the implications of experienced drought on people’s attitudes, acceptance and behaviours. The causal explanation of the correlation is assumed to be the perceived distance, as explained by the “Construal level theory”. Apart from the main correlation that was explored, some other independent variables seem to affect water consumption behaviour as well; these being age, nature appreciation and knowledge about the size of one’s own water consumption. Because of the way the respondents were sampled, a low priority was therefore given to the possibility of generalisation of the results to a greater population. However, as the main casual mechanism is assumed to be the CLT; and this theory and phenomenon seems to be applicable to nearly everyone; there is, despite that, still a great chance that the results of the correlation between perception of drought and water consumption behaviour, to some extent at least, are generalisable.

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