A socio-psychological model for analyzing climate change adaptation: A case study of Sri Lankan paddy farmers
Farmers in developing countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change effects, particularly drought. However, little research has focused on the psychological mechanisms that facilitate or constrain agricultural adaptation behavior. Drawing on the protection motivation theory from health promotion research, we propose a risk, coping, and social appraisal (RCSA) model of adaptation decisions. To test the model, we assessed drought risk perceptions, efficacy beliefs, village identification, and perceived descriptive norms among a sample of 192 paddy farmers from five villages in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Results revealed that the RCSA model was a better predictor of agricultural adaptation intention than a strictly demographic model. Efficacy beliefs were the strongest predictor of behavioral intentions, with descriptive norms also consistently relating to intentions. Drought risk perceptions related only to intention to adopt one of the behaviors, while village identification related only to a very communal behavior. The results have implications for agricultural extension officers, irrigation officers, and water management officials in their efforts to assist farmers in adapting to limited water resources.
Global Environmental Change
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Truelove, Carrico, A. R., & Thabrew, L. (2015). A socio-psychological model for analyzing climate change adaptation: A case study of Sri Lankan paddy farmers. Global Environmental Change, 31, 85–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.12.010