Determining the role of eudaimonic values in conservation behavior

Sophia Winkler-Schor, Carena J van Riper, Adam Landon, Rose Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Values are the fundamental reasons why people engage in conservation behaviors. Recent research has called for a more refined approach to studying values in a way that accounts for the concept of eudaimonia. However, the empirical properties for a eudaimonic value scale have not been tested given that previous investigations have remained at the theoretical level. Drawing from an on-site survey of visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, we used a latent profile analysis used a latent profile analysis to better understand the expression of multiple values of nature. Specifically, we segmented respondents by their value orientations with a particular focus on evaluating eudaimonic and hedonic values, alongside the established dimensions of altruistic, biospheric, and egoistic values. We identified 4 distinct subgroups defined by value orientations and validated these subgroups based on measures of conservation behavior and sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age). These results indicated campaign messaging should harness a combination of eudaimonic, biospheric, and altruistic values to propel individual behavior. We also observed that hedonic and egoistic values defined how people related to nature and played a role, albeit less pronounced, in motivating them to take action. Our study is one of the first efforts to operationalize eudaimonia in a conservation context; thus, we have opened a new avenue for protected-area managers to align their strategies with the underlying values of stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1404-1415
Number of pages12
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • behavior change
  • cambios en el comportamiento
  • ciencias sociales de la conservación
  • conservation social science
  • protected areas
  • psicología
  • psychology
  • valores
  • values
  • áreas protegidas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology


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