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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7070109

Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes toward Environmental Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems

1
Institute for Geocomputational Analysis and Statistics (GeoCAS), University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, VI 00802, USA
2
Department of Computational and Computer Science, College of Science and Mathematics, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, VI 00802, USA
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
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Abstract

This study addresses the latent construct of attitudes toward environmental conservation based on study participant’s responses. We measured and evaluated the latent scale based on an 18-item scale instrument, over four experimental strata (N = 945) in the US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. We estimated the latent scale reliability and validity. We further fitted multiple alternative two-parameter logistic (2PL) and graded response models (GRM) from Item-Response Theory. We finally constructed and fitted equivalent structural and generalized structural equation models (SEM/GSEM) for the attitudinal latent scale. All scale measures (composite, alpha-based, IRT-based, and SEM-based) were consistently and reliably valid measures of the study participants’ latent attitudes toward conservation. We found statistically significant differences among participant’s attributes relating to socio-demographic, physical, and core environmental characteristics of participants. We assert that the nature of relationship between cognitive attitudes and individual as well as social behavior related to environmental conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental attitudes; coral reefs; scale development; item-response theory; graded response model; social-ecological systems; reliability; generalized structural equation model environmental attitudes; coral reefs; scale development; item-response theory; graded response model; social-ecological systems; reliability; generalized structural equation model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Alexandridis, K. Assessing Cognitive and Social Attitudes toward Environmental Conservation in Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 109.

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