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Title: Modelling the influence of individual differences on farming behaviour
Author: Willock, Joyce
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Until fairly recently farmers have been encouraged to increase production and efficiency by government and EU funded policies. However, with the increasing occurrences of food related health scares and concern over disappearing flora and fauna, a less intensive attitude to land and livestock management is emerging. Many of the policies relating to environmental protection are voluntary. There has, therefore, been increasing concern over which farmers will implement these environment policies. A large body of literature exists covering many disciplines which investigates specific aspects of farming change. Cardinal variables include attitudes towards risk and innovation and secondary variables include information, knowledge, culture, goals etc. (Guerin & Guerin, 1994). The models and the variables used in the studies often fail to predict who will implement change and why. This study investigates the influence of individual differences on two types of farming behaviour. Two categories of farming behaviours: a) production oriented, and b) environmentally focused behaviour were examined in 254 Scottish farmers. The aim of the study was two-fold: 1) to highlight what factors (such as farming attitudes and objectives) were empirically important to farming behaviour in general, and 2) to identify the most important facets of the individual which are adjuncts to the process of changing behaviour. The study developed a set of standardised questionnaires which incorporated variables identified as both important in the literature and in the farming community. Factors derived by factor analysis were used in conjunction with standardised measures of individual differences such as personality traits, and intelligence. Models of behaviour were hypothesised and tested for fit using structural equation modelling techniques. Econometric and other expectancy value models have been used to examine how farmers make specific decisions. Problems related to these models are discussed. It is suggested that a simple transactional model or mediating variable model is a more suitable tool with which to investigate farming behaviour (Lazarus, 1984).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available