The crucial roles of biodiversity loss belief and perception in urban residents’ consumption attitude and behavior towards animal-based products

Abstract

Products made from animal fur and skin have been a major part of human civilization. However, in modern society, the unsustainable consumption of these products – often considered luxury goods – has many negative environmental impacts. This study explores how people’s perceptions of biodiversity affect their attitudes and behaviors toward consumption. To investigate the information process deeper, we add the moderation of beliefs about biodiversity loss. Following the Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics, we use mindsponge-based reasoning for constructing conceptual models and employ Bayesian analysis aided by Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms on a dataset of 535 Vietnamese urban residents. The results show that people’s preference for using products made from animal skin/fur is negatively associated with perceived consequences of biodiversity loss when they believe biodiversity loss is real and a major problem. In contrast, if urban residents believe biodiversity loss is unreal or not a significant issue, the association between perceived consequences of biodiversity loss and personal preference happens in the opposite direction. The same effects of biodiversity loss perception on people’s possession of skin/fur products was not found, indicating a more complex information process on behaviors compared to attitudes. Nevertheless, in the scenario that people believe biodiversity loss is not a significant issue, the higher the perceived consequences of biodiversity loss are, the greater number of animal-based products they likely own. Our results suggest that policymakers should not neglect the factor of personal belief besides knowledge and awareness in environmental campaigns.

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2022-10-15

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