This study focuses on the environmental value-action gap of students at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. An environmental value-action gap occurs when a person has pro-environmental beliefs but does not have congruent actions. Over 1,000 JMU students completed a survey of their residence location, environmental values, and environmental actions. Students’ preservation and utilization values were assessed using a 2-Dimensional Model of Ecological Values (2-MEV), and their frequency of environmental actions was assessed through a series of Likert-scaled statements. It was hypothesized that any value-action gap would be wider in students who resided in off-campus housing compared to students who resided in on-campus housing, due to on-campus students’ proximity to the university’s numerous green initiatives. Instead, the data showed that off-campus students had higher mean value and action scores than on-campus students, although a value-action gap did exist in both populations. Additionally, there was a moderate correlation between the values and actions within both groups, indicating that stronger values might lead to more frequent actions. The results of this study can help enhance green initiatives at JMU and other universities.
Martin, E. (2019). Using residential location to assess the environmental value-action gap of students at James Madison University. James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal, 6(1), 38-50. Retrieved from http:// commons.lib.jmu.edu/jmurj/vol6/iss1/3