Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Barnes Truelove

Second Advisor

Dr. Jody Nicholson

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Michael Toglia

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick


In developing countries, farmers are dealing with climatic changes by adapting their agricultural practices. Little work has investigated the direct impact of structural variables (e.g., central vs. local management of irrigation water, location of village), psychological variables (e.g., risk perceptions, self-efficacy), and adaptation on crop yield. We tested a psychology-based model that focused on risk perceptions and efficacy beliefs by longitudinally surveying 278 Sri Lankan rice farmers. We assessed risk perceptions and efficacy beliefs before the major paddy-growing season and measured whether farmers performed adaptations as well as their paddy yield/acre after the season. The model significantly predicted more than 25% of the variance in crop yield, with increased yields associated with centrally managed irrigation resources and with farmers low in perceived climate risk at the start of the growing season. Findings support the notion that while psychological factors are important, structural variables are the most important predictors of farm productivity in times of uncertain water supply.