Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, School of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Extension and Education Department of Agricultural Extension and Education College of Agriculture Tarbiat Modares University (TMU) Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

According to experts, the inefficient agricultural sector has a dominant role in degrading water resources all over the world. Farmers’ conservational behavior is an important aspect of new integrated water management studies. Relevantly, various behavioral theories have been proposed in the field of environmental psychology. The main objective of the present comparative analysis and review study was to explain foundations of the most remarkable water conservation behavioral theories, classify them, and finally, present a critical discussion on the better application of each theory to explain the farmers' Water Conservation Behaviors (WCBs). This study is based on the documentary research method which was accomplished using a systematic literature review. The comparison analysis of existing theories indicates that the “theory selection” should be consistent with the “type of behavior under study”. Consequently, it is recommended to adopt the theories like Planned Behavior Theory and Reasoned Action Theory to illustrate the private-sphere WCBs such as farmers’ willingness to pay for water conservation because these behaviors are directly associated with the farmers’ personal interests. With respect to those conservational behaviors with participatory and collective nature, an individual may ignore his/her short-sighted and immediate benefits to achieve collective and long-term interests. In such a case, the use of moral approach and its relevant theories, including the Value-Belief-Norms Theory and the Norm Activation Theory, seems to be more appropriate. Consequently, agricultural practitioners and researchers are recommended to use rational approach theories to analyze the WCBs of farmers.

Highlights

  • The Purpose of the study was to explain foundations of the most remarkable water conservation behavioral theories, classify them, and finally, present a critical discussion on the better application of each theory to explain the farmers' Water Conservation Behaviors (WCBs).
  • The study is based on the documentary research method which was accomplished using a systematic literature review.
  • There are two main approaches in the field of environmental behaviors and WCBs: “Rational Human Approach” and “Moral Approach”.
  • The comparison analysis of existing theories indicates that the “theory selection” should be consistent with the “type of behavior under study”.

Keywords

Main Subjects

Afshar, N., & Zarafshani, K. (2010). Analysis of intention towards participation in water management: The case of water user associations of Sefid-Barg and Sarab-Bas in Kermanshah Province. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal, 6(2), 99-113. (In Persian).

Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179-211.

Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Andersson, L., Shivarajan, S., & Blau, G. (2005). Enacting ecological sustainability in the MNC: A test of an adapted value-belief-norm framework. Journal of Business Ethics, 59(3), 295-305.

Azizi-Khalikhili, T., Bijani, M., Shahpasand, M.R., & Farbod, F. (2017). Effectiveness Evaluation of Rural Extension Education Programs (The Case of Sheep Breeders in Pasargad Township, Iran). International Journal of Agricultural Management and Development, 7(4), 459-466.

Azizi Khalkheili, T., Bakhshi Jahromi, A., & Bijani, M. (2012). Soil conservative behavior of farmers: The role of information & communication media. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal, 7(2), 51-61. (In Persian).

Bamberg, S., & Möser, G. (2007). Twenty years after Hines, Hungerford, and Tomera: A new meta-analysis of psycho-social determinants of pro-environmental behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 27(1), 14-25.

Bijani, M., & Hayati, D. (2013). Application of environmental attitudes toward analyzing water conflict: The Case of Doroodzan dam irrigation network. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal, 9(1), 83- 102. (In Persian).

Bijani, M., Ghazani, E., Valizadeh, N., & Haghighi, N. F. (2017). Pro-environmental analysis of farmers' concerns and behaviors towards soil conservation in central district of Sari County, Iran. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 5(1), 43-49.

Chan, L., & Bishop, B. (2013). A moral basis for recycling: Extending the theory of planned behaviour. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 36, 96-102.

Corbett, J. B. (2002). Motivations to Participate in Riparian Improvement Programs Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior. Science Communication, 23(3), 243-263.

Gärling, T., Fujii, S., Gärling, A., & Jakobsson, C. (2003). Moderating effects of social value orientation on determinants of proenvironmental behavior intention. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23(1), 1-9.

Gerbens-Leenes, P.W., & Nonhebel, S. (2004). Critical water requirements for food, methodology and policy consequences for food security. Journal of Food Policy, 29(5), 547-564.

Han, H., Hsu, L.T.J., & Sheu, C. (2010). Application of the theory of planned behavior to green hotel choice: Testing the effect of environmental friendly activities. Tourism Management, 31(3), 325-334.

Harland, P., Staats, H., & Wilke, H.A. (2007). Situational and personality factors as direct or personal norm mediated predictors of pro-environmental behavior: Questions derived from norm-activation theory. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29(4), 323-334.

Hsu, Y. H. (2003). An integrated model for investigation of social-psychological influences on college students' attitudinal tendencies toward appropriate environmental behavior: A study in Taiwan. Unpublished dissertation, Department of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University.

Kaiser, F.G., Hübner, G., & Bogner, F.X. (2005). Contrasting the theory of planned behavior with the value‐belief‐norm model in explaining conservation behavior1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(10), 2150-2170.

Keshavarz, M., Karami, E., & Vanclay, F. (2013). The social experience of drought in rural Iran. Land Use Policy, 30(1), 120-129.

Lam, S. P. (1999). Predicting intentions to conserve water from the theory of planned behavior, perceived moral obligation, and perceived water right1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29(5), 1058-1071.

Maleksaeidi, H., & Karami, E. (2013). Social-ecological resilience and sustainable agriculture under water scarcity. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 37(3), 262-290.

Marquart-Pyatt, S. T. (2004). A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Concern. Unpublished dissertation, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University.

Mok, W.K., & Lee, A. Y. (2013). A case study on application of the theory of planned behaviour: predicting physical activity of adolescents in Hong Kong. Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education, 3(5), 2161-0711.

Nigbur, D., Lyons, E., & Uzzell, D. (2010). Attitudes, norms, identity and environmental behaviour: using an expanded theory of planned behaviour to predict participation in a kerbside recycling programme. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(2), 259-284.

Phipps, M., Ozanne, L. K., Luchs, M. G., Subrahmanyan, S., Kapitan, S., Catlin, J. R., & Weaver, T. (2013). Understanding the inherent complexity of sustainable consumption: A social cognitive framework. Journal of Business Research, 66(8), 1227-1234.

Raymond, C.M., Brown, G., & Robinson, G.M. (2011). The influence of place attachment, and moral and normative concerns on the conservation of native vegetation: A test of two behavioural models. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31(4), 323-335.

Sarabia-Sánchez, F.J., Rodríguez-Sánchez, C., & Hyder, A. (2014). The role of personal involvement, credibility and efficacy of conduct in reported water conservation behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 38, 206-216.

Schultz, P. (2000). New environmental theories: empathizing with nature: the effects of perspective taking on concern for environmental issues. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 391-406.

Schwartz, S.H. (1970). Moral Decision Making and Behavior. In M. Macauley, & L. Berkowitz (Eds.), Altruism and Helping Behavior (pp. 127-141). New York: Academic Press.

Schwartz, S.H. (1997). Normative influences on altruism1. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 221-279.

Shiri, S., Bijani, M., Chaharsoughi Amin, H., Noori, H. & Soleymanifard, A. (2011). Effectiveness Evaluation of the Axial Plan of Wheat from Expert Supervisors' View in Ilam Province. World Applied Sciences Journal, 14(11), 1724-1729.

Simon, H.A. (1955). A behavioral model of rational choice. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 69(1), 99-118.

Steg, L., & Vlek, C. (2009). Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(3), 309-317.

Stern, P. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavior. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 407-424.

Thøgersen, J. (1996). Recycling and morality a critical review of the literature. Environment and Behavior, 28(4), 536-558.

Trumbo, C.W., & O'Keefe, G.J. (2005). Intention to conserve water: Environmental values, reasoned action, and information effects across time. Society and Natural Resources, 18(6), 573-585.

Valizadeh, N., Bijani, M., & Abbasi, E. (2016). Pro-environmental analysis of farmers' participatory behavior toward conservation of surface water resources in southern sector of Urmia Lake’s catchment area. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Journal, 11(2), 183-201. (In Persian).

Valizadeh, N., Bijani, M., & Abbasi, E. (2018a). An Environmental Psychological Analysis of Farmers' Participatory-Oriented Behavior toward Water Conservation in the Catchment Area of Lake Urmia. Iran-Water Resources Research, 13 (4), 17-27. (In Persian).

Valizadeh, N., Bijani, M., & Abbasi, E. (2018b). Farmers’ active participation in water conservation: Insights from a survey among farmers in southern regions of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, 20(5), 895-910.

Valizadeh, N., Bijani, M., Abbasi, E., & Ganguly, S. (2018c). The role of time perspective in predicting Iranian farmers’ participatory-based water conservation attitude and behavior: The role of time perspective in water conservation behavior. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 28 (6), 1-19.

Valizadeh, N., Hayati, D., Rezaei-Moghaddam, K., & Karimi-Gougheri, H. (2018d). Application of the planned behavior theory in ethical analysis of water conservation behavior. Bioethics Journal, 8 (27), 33-48.

Valizadeh, N., Bijani, M., Hayati, D., & Fallah Haghighi, N. (2019). Social-Cognitive Conceptualization of Iranian Farmers' Water Conservation Behavior. Hydrogeology Journal, In press. DOI: 10.1007/s10040-018-01915-8

Yang, H., Reichert, P., Abbaspour, K. C., & Zehnder, A. J. (2003). A water resources threshold and its implications for food security. Journal of Environmental Science & Technology, 37(14), 3048-3054.

Yazdanpanah, M., Hayati, D., Hochrainer-Stigler, S., & Zamani, G. H. (2014a). Understanding farmers' intention and behavior regarding water conservation in the Middle-East and North Africa: A case study in Iran. Journal of Environmental Management, 135, 63-72.

Yazdanpanah, M., Hayati, D., Thompson, M., Zamani, G. H., & Monfared, N. (2014b). Policy and plural responsiveness: Taking constructive account of the ways in which Iranian farmers think about and behave in relation to water. Journal of Hydrology, 514, 347-357.