Kumar Chaudhary, A., Lamm, A. J. & Warner, L. A. (2018).  Using cognitive dissonance to theoretically explain water conservation intentions. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(4), 194-210. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.04194

Abstract:

Water is a scarce resource in Florida. There is an immediate need to reduce the stress on water resources and make the availability of water more sustainable by encouraging engagement in water conservation among the residents of Florida. This study examined how the future intentions of high water users in Florida] to conserve water outdoors were influenced by cognitively dissonant attitudes and behaviors. The independent variables used in the study were: government trust, current water conservation practices, political beliefs, and homeowners’ associations (HOA) membership. The results to study indicated that higher trust in government and current engagement in water conservation behaviors promotes water conservation, while conservative political belief and HOA membership restrict water conservation. The independent variables (government trust, current water conservation practices, political beliefs, and HOA membership) also significantly predicted 30% of the variation in water conservation behavioral intentions. Level of engagement in current water conservation behaviors had the highest effect on future intent to conserve water. Extension educators, managers at water utility companies, and other agricultural educators are encouraged to consider cognitive dissonance among their target audiences as it can be used to promote water conservation.

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